SUPPORT THIS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM
The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why The Capistrano Dispatch is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.
By Collin Breaux | Twitter: @collin_breaux
Prospective homeowners in the village of Rienda—the latest housing development coming to Rancho Mission Viejo—and current RMV residents will eventually get to enjoy a new fitness center, pool, artificial lagoon, and more.
The amenities are part of Ranch Camp, a set of outdoor conveniences intended to complement the residential experience in the South Orange County community. RMV officials recently took The Capistrano Dispatch on a behind-the-scenes tour of Ranch Camp, which is currently under construction.
“This is the biggest facility amenity that we’ve built to date. Six acres of the site is dedicated to an amenity for the residents and a three-acre portion is where we’re doing the community sales front,” said Kris Maher, senior vice president of design. “Prospects will come in to learn about the community and then go out to the area.”
A heritage oak tree will also be placed at the front of Ranch Camp to give a welcoming aura. A “heritage house” will give information about the history of RMV, including the area’s ranching aspect, and a “nature house” will teach people about The Nature Reserve, RMV’s outdoor preserve.
The fitness center will be open-air and near a pool, so parents can stay fit while watching their kids or family and friends swim. Fitness enthusiasts can enjoy views of the nearby hills while keeping in shape, or relax in deck chairs if they just want to hang out. Fans will provide air circulation, and the terrace is big enough to accommodate fitness classes.
“It’s open to the elements with lots of fresh air,” Maher said. “We built one similar to this in Esencia. This one is a little bit bigger. That fitness center we built in Esencia is so popular.”
The various coming features are expected to provide a lifestyle benefit for new and existing residents, Maher said.
“This is where they’re going to recreate, and have their family and friends over,” Maher said. “What I really like about this amenity is there literally is something for everyone.”
The lagoon under construction is 20,000 square feet. If people don’t want to jump into the water or want to dry off after doing so, there will also be nearby firepits and picnic tables where they can relax. A check-in area will be at the front of the lagoon area, as will be showers and restrooms. Secure areas for kids will be set aside on nearby land so parents can keep an eye on their children.
“This is what we call the Cove,” Maher said. “(There will be) a little kid’s wading pool. The rest of the Cove, we have a beach entry here that goes down into it. The rest of the Cove is 3½-4 feet deep. People can easily navigate around it.”
Food trucks and live music are also expected to pop up at Ranch Camp.
“A project this big, we really have to figure out how to stage the construction, because it’s so massive—when you put the trees in, how you get the trees in,” Maher said. “It’s a real logistical challenge to lay out a site this big.”
For the equestrians, Ranch Camp will also have a three-quarter acre horse pasture. Horses will be available three days a week, which Maher said will be “really fun for kids” and “great photo ops for the families.”
A trailhead will also go up in the area and eventually connect to Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park in Coto de Caza.
As for RMV’s Planning Area 3 for new housing—which is also under construction—7,000 new homes are expected to go up. Planning Area 3 will have a fire station. Duplexes and single-family, detached three-story homes will be available. Price ranges have not yet been set.
Ranch Camp is expected to fully open by early 2022.
Collin Breaux covers San Juan Capistrano and other South Orange County news as the City Editor for The Capistrano Dispatch. Before moving to California, he covered Hurricane Michael, politics and education in Panama City, Florida. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.