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By Collin Breaux

As life returned to some sort of normalcy in 2021 for much of the world, so, too, did life in the master-planned community of Rancho Mission Viejo.

Some neighborhood events, including a butterfly release, returned in the unincorporated area, and educational events for students are back on at The Nature Reserve in Rancho Mission Viejo—the area’s outdoor preserve where children and other residents get to go on hikes and learn about local wildlife and fauna.

Los Patrones Business Park, an industrial center with business tenants, gradually began opening this year with new tenants variously setting up shop as the months went on. Among the center’s first tenants are Evolve CheckMat Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu/Muay Thai Academy (a martial arts gym), Frisby Winery & Brewing (a wine and craft beer spot), and SmartStop Esencia Storage Facility.

“2021 was a year of great progress and milestones for Rancho Mission Viejo,” said Mike Balsamo, senior vice president of governmental relations for Rancho Mission Viejo. “We officially sold all of the homes in the Village of Esencia and opened the highly anticipated Los Patrones Business Park. We also started construction on the Village of Rienda and Ranch Camp, our next incredible recreational amenity.”

Rienda will open for sales in just a few months and will have a grand opening a few months after that.

“There has been an incredible amount of progress made over the last year. We’re very excited about this new community, which embodies the true essence of living on The Ranch,” Balsamo said. “Rienda will place special emphasis on housing attainability, nurturing neighborliness among all ages and life stages, utilizing our award-winning amenities and thoughtful programming to create a vibrant social life for residents.”

RMV prioritized well-being in 2021, and looks to continue that focus going into 2022. As part of that, The Ranch began working with the Global Wellness Institute on a new “Wellness Communities & Real Estate Initiative,” which explores the impact community environments have on health and wellness. The initiative will help identify elements that have the greatest potential to impact wellness in community design and development through conscious and effective land plans, facility designs, and other means, a news release said. 

“This marks the first-ever collaborative effort between these two organizations, and Rancho Mission Viejo was featured as a leading wellness community at GWI’s inaugural Wellness Communities and Real Estate Symposium,” Balsamo said. “We’re looking forward to this partnership to continue to find ways to enhance well-being on The Ranch and beyond.”

Another highlight from 2021 includes the Sendero and Esencia areas receiving their Firewise USA Designation in recognition of the community’s fire protection planning and proactive approach to reducing wildfire risk.

“We’re one of the first master-planned communities to receive this designation, which is the result of years of collaboration with Orange County Fire Authority to ensure the Villages on The Ranch were designed and built with state-of-the-art fire protection technology,” Balsamo said.

RMV also brought back longtime and recently instituted programs, including the annual Turkey Trot and an outdoor internship program for students at The Nature Reserve.

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