From Woodbridge Village Center’s new “front porch,” it’s easy to see why generations of homeowners have loved Woodbridge Village.
“It’s full of life,” says resident Cheryl Evans. “Children are playing, friends are enjoying a meal together, and people are sitting on the grass just enjoying the sun. It’s such a warm and inviting place to be.”
On the day Woodbridge opened, back in 1976, more than 10,000 people showed up to buy a home – making national news.
Extensive research went into planning this recreational village, where every resident lives within a five-minute walk of a park, pool or lake.
Planners created 11 shoreline conditions around the two central lakes, including a sandy beach, rocky shore, lawn, sidewalk, boat dock, gazebo and, of course, a wood bridge.
They intentionally left the lakefront open to the public.
“We broke the mold by putting a circular path around the lake so that all of the residents could enjoy it,” the late Ken Agid, a former Irvine Company planner, once said. “We wanted people to be able to participate in these lakes.”
The planning paid off, and, more than 40 years later, Woodbridge is still one of the most sought-after villages in the city. It has 41 recreational facilities, which offer everything from a Big Wheel park to tennis clubs, to sandy lakeside lagoons – all connected by tree-lined bike paths.
“It’s very green,” says Jose Perez, who lives with his family in the Woodbridge Pines Apartments.
“My community has beautiful, tall pine trees. It feels more like the mountains than a big city. And it’s only a short bike ride from my apartment to the lake. We love it here.”
Today, Woodbridge neighbors enjoy many of the same benefits as the generation of residents before them.
They gather at Woodbridge Village Center, which recently underwent a $30 million renovation, and enjoy the lakefront views from the new “front porch.”
“I love walking around the lakes every day,” says longtime resident Evans. “I always run into friends walking, getting coffee or shopping. It feels like a small town.”