After announcing the creation of Irvine’s 700-acre Gateway Preserve in March, the Irvine City Council on Tuesday, April 11, approved the official cost of purchasing the All American Asphalt facility in Orchard Hills. 

During the meeting on Tuesday Irvine leaders approved $285 million to acquire the asphalt production facility, including its equipment, according to a staff report included in the April 11 City Council Agenda.

The sale will also require a $500,000 budget appropriation for “site studies and due diligence.”

In terms of a timeline for the purchase of the asphalt manufacturing facility, Irvine will open a seven month escrow upon completion of the Purchase and Sale Agreement. A staff report indicates that Irvine is expected to make a non-refundable deposit for $28.5 million on June 15.  

Per the sale agreement, the AAA facility is expected to cease all operations by Wednesday, Nov. 15. Irvine will pay $228 million within five days of the cessation. The final payment of $28.5 million will come one day before the close of escrow, which is listed as Feb. 1, 2024.   

Terms include the city’s ability to visually inspect the site prior to the first deposit. Irvine is also seeking an insurance policy to address site specific contamination. 

“The City has the ability to perform limited due diligence on the site prior to making the first of the three non-refundable deposits, including a visual inspection of the site,” states a staff report. “Additionally, the City has secured commitments that will enable the procurement of an environmental insurance policy to pay for costs related to potential environmental contamination on the site. That particular insurance policy is estimated to cost between $400,000 – $1 million.”  

The anticipated sale comes after many years of complaints from residents living in North Irvine that have continuously reported the facility’s foul odor. Many residents feared that the emissions associated with the odor could be harmful to human health. 

Some potential homeowners in Orchard Hills told Irvine Weekly the presence of the asphalt production facility was not disclosed during the time of purchase

In the face of fear from residents, along with the facility’s mounting odor violations, leaders in Irvine have even tapped state legislators to join the city’s All American Asphalt facility conversation. 

In 2021, Irvine asked Senator Dave Min to weigh in, checking to see if the senator could shift regulatory mandates in terms of where facilities could operate. 

In a phone call with Irvine Weekly, Min said purchasing the facility would be the quickest and most effective solution for the City of Innovation.  

“The law is the law. As I’ve said, for us to change that law would require us to look pretty deeply at some of these issues around what is the right concentration, and it would have to be something of uniform applicability,” Min said. “It would be a long time coming, honestly — but we couldn’t just target this plant.”

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