Lou Hirsh

Staff Reporter

Email: lhirsh@sdbj.com
Phone: 858-277-8904 Extension: 3107

Recent Stories

Two Mira Mesa Hotels Sell for $25.17 Million

An affiliate of San Diego-based Excel Hotel Group has purchased two neighboring hotels in Mira Mesa for $25.17 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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Two Mira Mesa Hotels Sell for $25.17M

An affiliate of San Diego-based Excel Hotel Group has purchased two neighboring hotels in Mira Mesa for $25.17 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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Westfield UTC’s $600M Overhaul Nears Completion

Construction workers were still keeping busy with landscaping and signage, as the Westfield UTC mall entered the final home stretch on a $600 million renovation and expansion.

Lease Deals Bring New Incoming Tenants

San Diego’s Murphy Development recently announced three more big lease signings at its industrial and office property known as The Campus at San Diego Business Park in Otay Mesa. The U.S. government’s General Services Administration signed a 10-year lease for 40,872 square feet of office space at the 2055 Sanyo Ave. building, where fiber-optic technology provider kSARIA Corp. recently leased 59,267 square feet of office and warehouse space for three years.

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Filling Minds, Grocery Bags, and Plates

San Diego-based America’s Finest Charter School recently acquired a 12,726-square-foot former Universal Church building at 4481 Estrella Ave. for $1.8 million, with plans to convert it into a charter high school expected to take occupancy in the first quarter of 2018. The buyer of the property, which had been vacant for about a year, was represented by Peter Wright of QFC Real Estate, and the seller was represented by Thomas Riley of Mission Realty Co.

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Center Talks Aim For June Ballot Spot

POLITICS: Hotel Tax Hike Also to Address Homelessness

Informal talks are continuing among multiple organizations, aimed at reviving a proposed hotel tax-hike ballot measure to fund an expansion of the San Diego Convention Center. But this time the goals reportedly include getting it to voters sooner – possibly in June 2018 – and with more of the proceeds earmarked toward the city’s growing homelessness problem.

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Blufftop Battleground

PROPERTY: Prime Coastal Spot in Del Mar Draws Developers With Reputation for Success

Two Encinitas developers — The Robert Green Co. and Zephyr — contend their track records with luxury projects in high-profile places, combined with some long-term patience, should guide them through an expected thicket of obstacles to completing their proposed oceanfront resort in Del Mar.

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Downtown’s Historic Santa Fe Depot Gets New Owner

A San Diego entity recorded as Santa Fe Depot LLC has acquired the landmark downtown train station for an undisclosed price, according to brokerage firm Voit Real Estate Services.

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Vista Industrial Building Sold for $3.92 Million

A Vista buyer recorded as VCIT LLC has acquired an industrial and office property in that city for approximately $3.92 million, according to brokerage firm Lee & Associates.

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Cruzan Obtains $41.2M in Refinancing for Carlsbad Office Campus

Solana Beach-based development and investment firm Cruzan has obtained $41.2 million in refinancing for its Make office campus in Carlsbad, according to CBRE Group Inc., which arranged the financing.

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Healthcare Firm Acquires Local Industrial Property for $14.63 Million

Healthcare firm Grifols Diagnostic Solutions Inc. of Los Angeles has acquired an industrial warehouse in San Diego’s 4S Ranch neighborhood for $14.63 million.

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Youth Foundation Buys Mixed-Use Property for $3.2 Million

San Diego Youth Foundation has acquired a mixed-use office and apartment building in the city’s College Area for $3.2 million.

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Vista Apartment Property Sells for $35.4 Million

An affiliate of New York-based TIAA-CREF and Chicago-based Nuveen has acquired a 148-unit apartment property in Vista for approximately $35.4 million.

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San Diego Apartment Property Sells for $2.31 Million

Elena Shekhter Trust of Rancho Santa Fe has purchased an eight-unit apartment property in San Diego’s Normal Heights neighborhood for $2.31 million.

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Sorrento Mesa Office Building Sold for $9.16 Million

Encinitas-based Plaza Del Norte Inc. has acquired a Sorrento Mesa office building for $9.16 million.

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San Diego Retail Center Sold for $10.4 Million

Santa Monica Property Investors LLC has acquired the Torrey Highlands Plaza retail center in San Diego for $10.4 million.

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Report: Expect Tight Supply, Rising Prices for San Diego Retail Space

Pockets of new development in the San Diego region, combined with tight vacancies, are expected to spur investor competition for a scarce supply of available retail properties for the rest of 2017, according to a new report.

Mission Valley Office Building Sells for $25.1 Million

Santa Monica-based Vista Investment Group LLC has acquired the Plaza 2020 office building in Mission Valley for approximately $25.1 million.

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S.D. Maps Out Sites That Might Suit Amazon’s HQ2 Needs

PROPERTY: No Clear Winner as Locations Have Variety of Pluses, Minuses

Local real estate experts generally agree that San Diego County has plenty to offer Amazon Inc., based on the multiple places where the e-commerce giant already does business throughout the region. Less clear is whether San Diego can deliver potential sites — at the right size in the right locations — that can accommodate Amazon’s mega-sized ambitions for its HQ2.

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Irvine Co. Finds Foothold in Del Mar Heights Market

PROPERTY: Submarket Is Second Most Expensive, Drawing Diverse Tenants

Over the past three decades, the Irvine Co. has grown its local presence — in places like downtown San Diego and University Towne Center — to the point where it is now the region’s largest office landlord, with properties spanning about 8 million square feet.

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New Apartments Open in Mid-City, Kearny Mesa

San Diego-headquartered Wakeland Housing and Development Corp. recently completed Talmadge Gateway, a $20.7 million, 60-unit supportive housing community geared to homeless seniors at 4422 Euclid Ave., in the Mid-City area of southeastern San Diego.

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Next Chapter for Two Vintage Buildings

The Bankers Hill building that served as home to the San Diego Woman’s Club for more than 70 years is now an event space called Parq West, following a three-month, $500,000 renovation by new owner Behind The Scenes Inc., among the region’s largest catering companies.

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More Apartments for East Village, Including Affordable Units

The wave of big apartment and mixed-use projects that have transformed downtown San Diego during the past four years — especially in East Village — is not over yet.

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Is S.D. a Contender For HQ2?

ECONOMY: Uphill Climb To Get Amazon’s Attention

Unable to find consensus over a convention center annex, or the next step for the big gray stadium in Mission Valley, San Diego leaders are faced with one more project of magnitude.

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Vancouver Firm Buys S.D. Office Portfolio for $174.5M

Vancouver, B.C.-based City Office REIT Inc. has purchased a 10-building portfolio of San Diego office buildings for approximately $174.5 million.

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Redevelopment Planned after $9.5M Downtown Hotel Purchase

An affiliate of San Diego-based Hotel Investment Group has acquired the 157-room Marina Inn hotel in downtown San Diego for $9.5 million.

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Michell Leaving Downtown Partnership for City’s Deputy COO Post

Kris Michell is leaving her post as president and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership to become deputy chief operating officer of special projects for the city of San Diego.

Port Plan with SDG&E Aims to Cut Cruise Ship Power Costs

The Port of San Diego and SDG&E have partnered on an energy management plan that officials said will help significantly reduce operating costs for the region’s cruise ship industry.

La Mesa Apartment Property Sells for $33.95 Million

Institutional fund manager Interstate Equities Corp. (IEC) of Los Altos announced it has acquired a 133-unit La Mesa apartment community for $33.95 million.

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Behavioral Health Services Provider Buys Former Fallbrook Hospital for $4.5M

Sacramento-based Crestwood Behavioral Health Inc. has acquired the property that formerly housed Fallbrook Hospital for $4.5 million.

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Group Is Launching SDSU-Focused Drive to Redevelop Stadium Site

A group called Friends of SDSU, which includes prominent community leaders, has announced plans for a ballot initiative aimed at redeveloping the current Mission Valley stadium site into a western campus of San Diego State University.

Group Launching SDSU-Focused Drive to Redevelop Stadium Site

A group has announced plans for a ballot initiative aimed at redeveloping the current Mission Valley stadium site into a western campus of SDSU.

S.D. County’s Construction Starts Dropped 14% in First 8 Months of 2017

San Diego County’s construction starts declined 14 percent from a year ago in the first eight months of 2017, with new projects valued at approximately $2.83 billion, according to latest figures.

SeaWorld San Diego Announces New Attractions, Ticket Offerings

SeaWorld San Diego has announced several new pricing packages and on-site attractions, as its Florida-based parent company continues to struggle with revenue and attendance declines.

Brown Field Lands Grant for Runway Improvement

The city of San Diego recently announced that it has received $5.68 million to rehabilitate the main runway at Brown Field Airport in Otay Mesa. Officials said the grant from the Federal Aviation Administration will also be used to change signage for the airport’s taxiways, with full completion of the work expected in spring 2018.

Bike Store – of Course – Sets Up Shop at Bikeway Village

Another retail piece is in place at Bikeway Village, a mixed-use project in Imperial Beach that aims to capitalize on proximity to South County’s popular Bayshore Bikeway. Fittingly, local retailer 2 Wheels Cycling Boutique recently opened a full-service shop there at 536 13th St.

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Wave of Spec Development To Hit North County

Several optimistic North County developers have speculative industrial and office construction projects underway, though in most cases nobody yet knows who the upcoming tenants might be.

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Pirch Retreats From Its Rapid Expansion

RETAIL: Store Closes Out-of-State Sites in a Strong Furniture Market

San Diego’s formerly fast-growing retailer Pirch recently announced that it was closing six of its 10 stores — all of them outside of California. But the abrupt downsizing came as the overall economy continues to be quite friendly to sellers of furniture and related home furnishings including several national chains now in the midst of local expansions.

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Regulations Proposed For Short-Term Rentals

PROPERTY: Council Measure Includes Fees, Fines and Permits

Faced with continuing complaints from local residents about noise and other nuisances created by vacationers using home-sharing sites such as Airbnb, the San Diego City Council later this month will tackle a proposed multipronged approach, including new registration fees and steep penalties for noncompliance by property owners.

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Carlsbad Industrial Building Sold for $5.1 Million

Rancho Santa Fe-based Cardiff Investments LLC has acquired a Carlsbad industrial building for approximately $5.1 million.

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San Diego Apartment Property Sells for $8.15 Million

Investor Ronnie T. Neri of Chula Vista has acquired a 47-unit apartment property in San Diego’s Valencia Park submarket for $8.15 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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Logistics Cos. on the Move in Otay Mesa Submarket

When it comes to rising industrial space demand in San Diego’s Otay Mesa region, some of the biggest movers are logistics companies focused on moving things around for their corporate customers

Imperial Beach Apartments Sold for $10.2 Million

San Diego-based Truman Johnson Inc. has acquired three Imperial Beach apartment buildings totaling 56 units for $10.2 million, according to brokerage firm CBRE Group Inc.

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San Diego International Airport Passenger Traffic Up 6 Percent for 2017

Total passenger traffic at San Diego International Airport rose six percent from a year ago in the first eight months of 2017, topping 14.6 million.

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Los Angeles Tech Firm Signs as First Tenant at Torrey Point Office Campus

Tsunami ARVR Inc., a Los Angeles-based maker of enterprise software and other technology geared to virtual and augmented reality, has signed as the first tenant at the newly developed Torrey Point office campus in San Diego’s Carmel Valley area.

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East County Retail Building Sold for $4.82 Million

Alpha Brothers LLC of Capitola has acquired a retail building in Rancho San Diego, recently leased to beverage retailer BevMo on a 10-year term, for approximately $4.82 million, according to brokerage firm Retail Insite.

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East County Retail Building Sold for $4.82 Million

Alpha Brothers LLC of Capitola has acquired a retail building in Rancho San Diego, recently leased to beverage retailer BevMo on a 10-year term, for approximately $4.82 million.

Strong Summer Boosts San Diego Hotel Metrics For 2017

The San Diego region’s hotels continued to demonstrate post-recession resilience in the first eight months of 2017.

X-Ray Machine Maker Buys San Marcos Industrial Property for $3.2M

San Marcos-based Creative Electron Inc., which makes X-ray machines, plans to occupy an industrial property there that it recently acquired for $3.2 million.

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Logistics Companies on the Move in Otay Mesa Submarket

PROPERTY: Trends in E-Commerce, Manufacutring Drive Down Vacancy Rate

When it comes to rising industrial space demand in San Diego’s Otay Mesa region, some of the biggest movers are logistics companies focused on moving things around for their corporate customers.

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