Irvine is in many ways the city of the future. That statement isn’t a surprise to anyone who lives or works within its 66 square mile radius. The community has rapidly become Orange County’s metropolitan hub. Bustling with trendy restaurants, a relatively young demographic, an emerging art scene, a thriving job market, incredible schools, safety, diversity, world-class higher education institutions and creative, well-planned dwellings, not to mention lots of open space, it has a special energy.
In fact, Irvine is the number one ranked city to live in Orange County according to Niche, a comprehensive online database that ranks U.S. cities for livability and quality of education. Newport Beach is ranked number two. The site not only gives Irvine the top spot for living but also gives the city’s public schools an A+ grade.
Besides the quality of life in the city, Irvine is also a standout — a model of sorts — for neighboring cities and others throughout the state. It is arguably the economic center of Orange County. And, it’s a global leader in many areas: Irvine is a diverse community showcasing various cultures including some 70 languages spoken by residents here. It’s a medical device hub. More recently it boasts a world-class soccer sporting complex at the Great Park. It’s also one of the most important cities in the nation for the video game sector as well as the rapidly growing esports industry.
Irvine ranks as sixth best city in the nation for gamers. That’s a big deal considering electronic gaming is a $100 billion worldwide industry. The reason Irvine plays into that equation is because Blizzard Entertainment, the gaming juggernaut responsible for World of Warcraft and Overwatch, has its headquarters in Irvine. Also, other respected gaming names have offices here including Obsidian Entertainment, Amazon Game Studios and Blind Squirrel Games, not to mention University of California, Irvine’s esports arena which boasts 3,500 square feet of space dedicated to gamers and aspiring professional esports players.
Some people, unfamiliar with Irvine’s vibrance, lump it in with the greater Los Angeles area or think of it as one of the 34 cities in O.C. It’s the third most populous city in Orange County — behind Anaheim and Santa Ana — and the 14th most populous city in the state. But, during regular working hours, Irvine might be the most populous city in the county. The running joke in Irvine is that its population doubles between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. That’s because there are far more jobs in Irvine than there are residents to fill them — or homes to house them.
All this goes to say that Irvine deserves a locally focused publication. So, welcome to the Irvine Weekly!
Our goal is the engage the biggest issues facing the community — from housing to traffic to education and so on. We also want to offer coverage on some of the coolest things happening in the city. Irvine is not just a great place to live and work, it’s a cultural hub, artistic hub, food hub and entertainment hub on the verge of even greater things.
We’ll cover the city with a balanced, non-biased and accurate approach to journalism — without the all-too-familiar political slants we see in news offerings today. That’s not to say we will not be gritty or occasionally ruffle some feathers, because we surely will. But the goal is to highlight a community on the rise, sharing stories about the people, the issues and the businesses changing the dynamics of this locale.
Personally, I’ve spent a large part of the last decade at the O.C. Register covering local issues and the biggest challenges facing Irvine, from the concept of an airport in Irvine to the inception of the Great Park to home building to education to the veterans cemetery and beyond. Every great city has growing pains and challenges and needs a quality publication to provide the information to the people who reside here.
We will be fair. We will be fun. And we will hopefully become essential reading for you, too.