California City had its origins in 1958 when real estate developer and sociology professor Nat Mendelsohn purchased 80,000 acres (32,000 ha) of Mojave Desert land with the aim of master-planning California's next great city. He designed his model city, which he hoped would one day rival Los Angeles in size, around a Central Park with a 26-acre (11 ha) artificial lake. Growth fell well short of his expectations. Today, a vast grid of crumbling paved roads which define residential blocks, extend well beyond the developed area of the city. Satellite photos underscore its claim to being California's 3rd largest geographic city, 34th largest in the US (by 2010 it had fallen to 40th largest in the US). California City was incorporated on December 10, 1965. This could be considered an example of a failed planned city. Although areas of California City have not developed as expected, California City has grown from 3,200 people in 1985 to over 14,000 in 2009. Cerro Coso Community College closed escrow on 22 acres (8.9 ha) in the heart of California City for a Community College to serve Edwards AFB, California City, Mojave, Boron, North Edwards and the entire high desert in the Antelope Valley.