In 1995, the center only consisted of a food court and movie theater; three years later, the center expanded to include 250,000 square feet of space with shops and restaurants, as well as Spanish-inspired artchitecture and new entertainment options such as Dave & Busters and The Improv Comedy Club.
Between 2001-2003, guest favorites such as the Carousel, Giant Wheel, and Ice Rink, as well as another 332,000 square foot expansion to include more family-focused shops opened.
Following the expansion, the center opened many more shops including Nordstrom, Target, and H&M; making the center the first to have a Nordstrom and Target paired together at a shopping center, as well as Orange County's first H&M location.
Office buildings and apartment communities including The Village, The Park, and Los Olivos sprouted around the shopping center.
Fast forward to 2015 and the Irvine Spectrum Center has revamped many of the courtyard areas adding more seating and innovative and family friendly/children-oriented features, and a diverse roster of eateries including Unami Burger, CUCINA enoteca, Kabuki, Pho Saigon Pearl, and LYFE Kitchen to name a few.
The most exciting update was the unveiling of the Giant Wheel's major facelift of dazzling, and innovative LED lighting features using more than 52,000 energy-efficient LED lights capable of producing 16 million different color schemes.
See the complete Irvine Spectrum Center history from 1971-present on the center's 20th Anniversary page! And join the center in celebrating their 20th anniversary with SUMMER FUN GAMES this Saturday July 11, 2015 from 2pm-10pm. Also be apart of the celebration by sharing your #SpectrumStory, see how here!
Construction of the Irvine Spectrum Center between 1993-1994:
Grand Opening evening in 1995:
The new Giant Wheel with LED lights:
Images provided by Cornerstone Communications, and the Irvine Spectrum Center 20th Anniversary page.