San Diego Business Journal

Several local building contractors said they have reached major milestones on industrial and office projects in the county.

Their announcements come as one local commercial real estate agent recently said he sees signs of rising office and industrial vacancies in the county.

Bycor General Contractors Inc. of San Diego has been working on two buildings at the Ryan Aeronautical Center in Rancho Bernardo. They are at 17066 and 17030 Goldentop Road and total 140,000 square feet, said Rich Byer, Bycor's president.

Byer said the building at 17066 Goldentop Road had its tenant improvements refurbished and that project is now done. The other structure, which was built by Bycor a couple of years ago and was vacant, is receiving its tenant improvements this month. He anticipated completing the project in August. Both buildings are concrete tilt-ups.

Bycor and Bannister Steel Inc. of National City finished topping out a four-story, 48,000-square-foot medical building at 855 Third Ave. in Chula Vista. Bycor also completed work two weeks ago on 10,000 square feet of office space for Republic Indemnity Company of America at 4995 Murphy Canyon Road, he said.

Roel Construction Co. of San Diego finished the 116-unit Rancho Carrillo Apartments in Carlsbad late last month, said Jacquie Johnston, a Roel spokeswoman.

Affordable Housing

Located on the corner of Melrose Drive and Palomar Airport Road, the project was designed as affordable housing for families and individuals earning less than 80 percent of the median income for the area, she said.

Barone Galasso and Associates Inc. of San Diego owns the 13-building, stucco and wood frame development.

Roel also finished up tenant improvements for Axsys Technologies Inc. at 7603 St. Andrews Ave. in Otay Mesa, she said. McParlane & Associates did the mechanical engineering and Pacific Cornerstone Architects was the project designer. Both are San Diego firms.

Rowena Treitler, a spokeswoman for Pacific Coast Steel Inc. of San Diego, said her company has completed about 60 percent of the reinforcing steel work at the San Diego Convention Center expansion project. She said nearly 8 million pounds of steel are being used on the project.

Keeton Construction Co. earlier this month finished up shell construction on the D & M; Industrial Building, a 13,144-square-foot, single-tenant speculative project in Murrieta.

More Speculative Construction

Meanwhile, a local commercial real estate agent said he is seeing more speculative construction in San Diego County as well. A project is considered speculative by real estate agents if it is built before it has been leased.

Andy Myers, a sales agent with BRE Business Real Estate Brokerage Co. in San Diego, said he's also seeing a lot of local companies moving into larger facilities as they prosper.

"About 95 percent of the leasing activity is from local companies expanding," Meyers said. "The pace of speculative construction has exceeded absorption and vacancies are rising."

He said, however, that he doesn't see a glut of office and industrial real estate on the market any time soon, since there are fewer projects entering the development pipeline than in past years.

San Diego-based Ninteman Construction Co. finished a three-story, 65,000-square-foot speculative office building at 5857 Owens Ave. in Carlsbad recently, said Cathy Riley, a company spokeswoman. The steel frame building has stone veneer on the exterior and glass curtain walls, she said. Ninteman also completed a three-story, 31,735-square-foot addition to the Radisson Hotel La Jolla at 3299 Holiday Court this month, she said.

Meanwhile, the conversion into apartments of the El Cortez Hotel at 702 Ash St. is fast nearing completion, said Roger Conlee, a spokesman for the J. Peter Block Cos. of San Diego, owner of the 1920s era landmark. Conlee said the scheduled completion date remains June 1. Ninteman is also the general contractor on that project.