Nearly 4,900 new homes will be built at the former El Toro marine base, along with commercial and educational facilities.
There was a delay because of the housing slump. But developers say they expect the market to turn around next year. If so, land development could begin next year, and housing could start being built in 2012.
Lennar paid nearly $650 million to the U.S. Navy for the 3,700-acre base. It paid $200 million more and donated land to the city of Irvine to get park development started.