Getting to “the center” of the Woodbridge Village Center rumor


Photo by Brittany Chang

The Woodbridge Village Center is a popular location for movie-going families on the weekends.

Brittany Chang, Director of Photography

Contrary to popular rumors that have recently been swirling around the Woodbridge community, the Irvine Company has not yet made any drastic plans about the fate of the Woodbridge Village Center, according to Michael Lyster, the Vice President of Corporate Communications at the Irvine Company. The shopping center currently includes different stores, including the popular eatery Ruby’s Diner, Barnes & Noble, Woodbridge Movies 5 (also known as the Dollar Theater) and children’s toy store Jitterbugs Toys.

The rumor started to gain attention on an online forum,, and the news spread quickly throughout multiple social media sites. Facebook groups and pages called “Stop the Irvine Company from demolishing the Woodbridge Village Center” and “Save the Woodbridge Village Shopping Center in Irvine, California” were also formed in an attempt to protest the newly “announced” plans.

“With the closure of Assi Natural Market, the company’s retail division is taking a comprehensive look at the center,” Lyster said. “The company’s retail division has a new president who began work on Sept. 15. One of his first priorities will be to get up to speed on the center and weigh in with his expertise as part of an overall analysis of our retail portfolio.”

Despite this statement, which was not publicly announced, many Woodbridge residents have continued posting and reacting to the rumors. On the Facebook page “Stop the Irvine Company from demolishing the Woodbridge Center,” the owner of the page posted, “According to Melissa Fox if Steven Choi is re-elected as Mayor of Irvine and Jeffrey Lalloway is re-elected as Irvine City Council then we will lose the Woodbridge Village Center to unnecessary apartments which will make Irvine flooded with more traffic.”

With more people rallying against the supposed destruction of the Woodbridge Village Center, City Council candidate Melissa Fox has spoken about it on her blog. “What people may not realize is that the City Council has the full legal power to tell the developer that it can’t do whatever it wants to the Woodbridge Village Center, and specifically that it can’t unilaterally change the fundamental character of the community,” Fox stated on her blog. “I believe it is the obligation of the City Council to ensure that the public interest…comes before the private interests of developers.”

The Irvine Company has yet to announce any plans or take any big steps towards the alteration of the Woodbridge Center.