Considered by many to be the Beverly Hills/Bel Air of Orange County, North Tustin is an exclusive neighborhood equal parts prestige and tranquility. This neighborhood is an unincorporated area of the Tustin foothills in Santa Ana, just 10 miles north of Newport Beach.
Within North Tustin, there are three popular communities that feature large, luxurious estates with breathtaking views and maximum privacy.
Developed in the 1920’s, Lemon Heights is an estimated two square miles known for its abundance of citrus trees. Tustin businessmen C.E. Utt and Sherman Stevens bought 600 acres of the hill from James Irvine of the Irvine Ranch in 1910 and, over the years, sprinkled it with citrus orchards, giving the area its name.
Bordering Lemon Heights is Cowan Heights. Purchased by wealthy Chicago meatpacking mogul George E. Marcy, this property originally spanned about 17,000 acres. Some of the first developments were a 300-acre park similar to Smiley Heights in Redlands, Calif., and the Marcy Ranch, headquartered on Newport Avenue near the present Marcy Drive.
Many locals began to purchase land in the area and after Marcy’s death in 1939, Mrs. Carrie Marcy sold 822 acres of the ranch to retired oil executive Walter R. Cowan. It was Cowan who subdivided the land into what is now Cowan Heights. Soon after, many palatial estates were constructed in this area. What remains of the once 300-acre park is now bordered by Cowan Heights Drive, Equestrian Drive, and Skyline Drive.
Homes in Lemon Heights and Cowan Heights are priced from $900,000 to more than $3 million. Homes in the North Tustin area start from $500,000 with the majority situated on large lots.