South Coast Metro

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South Coast Metro Skyline

South Coast Metro is a district in Orange County, California within the cities of Santa Ana and Costa Mesa. The area is a dense mix of residential, office, and retail developments that spreads out from South Coast Plaza and forms an urban-retail village that is distinct from the surrounding suburban development. The cultural element includes the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory theater company.[1]

These portions of Santa Ana and Costa Mesa area are adjacent to the John Wayne Airport and the cities of Irvine and Newport Beach.[2][3]


C. J. Segerstrom and Sons, a commercial real estate and retail management organization established in 1898, spearheaded commercial development in Orange County, California. Henry Segerstrom, as managing partner of the family-owned company, transformed the agricultural area into a lively, international destination. In March 1967, Henry T. Segerstrom, along with his cousin Hal T. Segerstrom, Jr., opened a shopping center called South Coast Plaza in one of the family's lima bean fields in rapidly growing Orange County.[4]


South Coast Metro's boundaries are generally defined as:

Used often in real estate listings, the South Coast Metro moniker is not recognized by the USPS or other government entities as a distinct region. While there is no separate zip code for South Coast Metro, a freeway sign for the area is on the southbound Costa Mesa (55) Freeway at MacArthur.

Metropolitan Environment[edit]

The South Coast Metro area includes its namesake, South Coast Plaza, along with approximately twenty high-rise office buildings, hotels and residences.[5] This includes the 21-story Center Tower, the tallest building in Orange County at 285 feet.[6] The area also includes additional retail shopping, entertainment, and several upscale restaurants. Banc of California relocated its headquarters to South Coast Metro, at 3 MacArthur Place in Santa Ana, in 2016.[7][8] Yokohama Tire Corporation's United States headquarters are also located in South Coast Metro, at 1 MacArthur Place, Santa Ana.

South Coast Metro area at night, looking southeast

The area around the Segerstrom Center for the Arts is called the Costa Mesa Theater and Arts District. The South Coast Repertory building was expanded and renovated in 2002, with the design done by architect César Pelli. Pelli also designed the Plaza Tower, opened in 1992, and the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, which opened in 2006.

Several prominent outdoor sculptures and other works of arts are displayed in the area around these buildings by artists such as Isamu Noguchi, Jean Dubuffet, Henry Moore, Richard Serra and others.[9] A satellite of the Orange County Museum of Art, called The Orange Lounge, is located inside South Coast Plaza. Recently, plans have been drawn to move the main museum, currently located in Newport Beach, into the portion of the Theater and Arts District set aside for the institution.


South Coast Metro is served by the San Diego (I-405), Costa Mesa (SR-55), and Corona Del Mar (SR-73) freeways. During rush hour, the 405-55 interchange becomes one of the most congested in the United States, with an average daily traffic volume of 433,000 cars.[10] The congestion has worsened in recent years despite an upgrade completed in 2005 which included the addition of carpool lane connectors.

Public transportation is provided by bus lines operated by the Orange County Transportation Authority. South Coast plaza is currently the most-served location in Orange County, connected by 12 bus routes.[11]

South Coast Metro was to be served by several stations of the abandoned CenterLine light rail project, including an underground station at South Coast Plaza.[12] As a replacement, a bus rapid transit line connecting the area to nearby John Wayne Airport, downtown Santa Ana and Anaheim is being considered for implementation in the future.

Future Expansion[edit]

Both the cities of Costa Mesa and Santa Ana have plans for additional development in the South Coast Metro area, which over a dozen high-rise buildings currently planned or approved. However, many of the residential projects, along with others in Orange County, have been delayed in light of the economic downturn.

Two high-rise residential towers, dubbed Skyline at Macarthur Place, were recently constructed in the northeast corner of South Coast Metro by developer Skyline OC. The 25-story towers are marketed as high-end luxury condominiums, and are now the tallest buildings in Orange County by number of floors.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Boehm, Mike (January 13, 2011). "The Orange County Performing Arts Center is changing names". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  2. ^ Giuliano, Genevieve, & Kenneth A. Small (1991). Subcenters in the Los Angeles region. Regional Science and Urban Economics, 21: 163-182 (p.170).
  3. ^ Zint, Bradley (November 23, 2014). "Costa Mesa will continue urbanization with luxury apartment complex". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  4. ^ Hughes, Paul (February 20, 2015). "Henry Segerstrom Passes". Orange County Business Journal. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  5. ^ Money, Luke (March 1, 2019). "Costa Mesa council to screen project that would add 1,057 residential units, office and retail space north of 405". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  6. ^ "" OC Almanac
  7. ^ "Banc of California to Purchase New Corporate Headquarters". Business Wire. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  8. ^ "What it Means to be California's Bank". LA Progressive. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  9. ^ Boehm, Mike (November 30, 2011). "Henry Segerstrom's mall hosts exhibit on his public art patronage". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  10. ^ Ignatin, Heather Lourie (May 5, 2005). "405/55 car-pool lanes get hookup". The Orange County Register. Archived from the original on March 30, 2008.
  11. ^ Money, Luke (July 14, 2017). "Officials celebrate Costa Mesa Line shuttle bus". Daily Pilot. Retrieved 15 July 2017 – via LA Times.
  12. ^ Reyes, David (October 15, 2005). "Rail's Loss, Cities' Gain". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 December 2015.

External links[edit]

  • [1] Satellite View of South Coast Metro, Google Maps