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County Looking for Developer For Multiblock Downtown Site

With court operations now shifting into a sparkling new $555 million downtown facility, officials are open to ideas for what replaces the old, 1960s-vintage San Diego County Courthouse.

The County of San Diego recently put out a request for qualifications for a planned future redevelopment — which officials have already named Courthouse Commons — on the multiblock site that currently houses the old courthouse, which will eventually be demolished.

County officials are seeking “capable, experienced and creative respondents” who can make their case for expertise and financial capabilities in developing similar projects. The county is seeking developers who might buy or lease three blocks, spanning about four acres, bounded by Union Street to the west, Front Street to the East, A Street on the north and Broadway to the south.

The county is thinking of some combination of elements that might include one or more hotel, office or residential buildings, along with some kind of park or other green space. Submissions are due by 4 p.m. Aug. 31, with more information from the county’s general-services department available at sandiegocounty.gov.

From among those deemed qualified, county officials later will be inviting applicants to submit specific development concepts.

Landing in the East Village

The labor organization Unite Here Local 30 — which represents workers in hospitality and food service, among other industries — recently acquired a mixed-use property near East Village, consisting of two buildings at 2450-2452 Market St., for $1.15 million. Brokers at Lee & Associates said the 4,709-square-foot property includes ground-level retail, office, warehouse and apartment space, with a courtyard in the back.

The buyer was represented by Marc Frederick of CBRE Group Inc., and the seller — a private trust including Elizabeth Hennessey of El Cajon — was represented by Lee & Associates’ Alex Weiss and Greg Pieratt. CoStar Group, citing info from brokers, reported that Unite Here also owns the building next door and may be expanding into the newly purchased property.

Also in East Village, Civic San Diego is reviewing plans by Duck Foot Brewing Co. for a brewery tasting room, with sales of alcohol for off-site consumption, at 550 Park Blvd., Suite 2104. According to its website, the craft brewer is based in Miramar and is led by founders Brett Goldstock and Matt Del Vecchio.

Civic San Diego also recently announced that artist Mark Reigelman has been hired by the city’s Commission for Arts and Culture to create a permanent public artwork for East Village Green, an upcoming new park being planned for that neighborhood. Officials said Reigelman spent several months learning about East Village and working with the park’s design team on the project.

According to the city website, Reigelman has devised an aluminum sculpture called “Blue Skies,” with a tilted parachute-shaped element (white exterior and blue lining) intended to evoke the moment at which a deployed parachute first lands on the ground. It also calls back to a long-lost history of parachute manufacturing in East Village — Standard Parachute Corp. had a plant there several decades ago.

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