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Topping Off a Distinctive $467M Downtown Tower

REAL ESTATE: Holland Partner Group Notches Milestone

Holland Partner Group has reached a milestone in the construction of a $467 million downtown project that will be a first for San Diego with its combination of apartments, offices and retail space in a single high-rise tower.

North America Sekisui is Holland’s partner on the project. Carrier Johnson + CULTURE is the architect.

Built on the site of the former San Diego County Superior Court at 1011 Union St., West will have 431 apartments, 280,000 square feet of offices, and 19,000 square feet of retail space.

Brent Schertzer
Managing Director
Holland Partner Group

“With this topping out, we can see our team’s vision becoming a reality and helping to shape the downtown San Diego of tomorrow,” said Brent Schertzer, managing director of Holland.

“The big milestone right now is, we’ve reached the top of the building and we’ll begin buttoning up the exterior and finishing up the interior,” Schertzer said.

Although West will be a first for San Diego in mixing residential and office in a high-rise, “It’s more common in other cities throughout the U.S. to see this kind of mixed-use, multi-use project,” Schertzer said.

“We saw a lot of synergies between the office and the residential when we were planning and designing the project,” he added. “You get the crossflow between residents and office tenants throughout the day so you’re creating this really active scene from morning to evening as opposed to going dark when the office is shutting down.”

The combination also broadens the potential tenant based to people who might work in the offices.

Construction is expected to be finished in the first quarter of 2024.

An Exception

The 37-story building will have apartments stacked on top of the offices, which will take up the first eight levels of the tower.

The apartments will be separated from offices by a ninth floor that has been set aside for such amenities as an indoor/outdoor gym, indoor/outdoor meeting spaces, a dog run with specialty pet turf and a pet spa, and private workspaces.

The amenities will be shared by office workers and apartment tenants.

“Just based on the form of the building and the way it’s all laid out, that level nine space worked really well as the middle point between the office and the residential,” Schertzer said.

In keeping with that mixed feel, Schertzer said that the building lobby has been designed to have the feel of a hotel lobby “so it doesn’t feel too much like an office lobby or too much like residential space.”

Tony Russell
Managing Director
JLL

“You’re going to walk into this building, it’s going to feel like you’re in a boutique hotel,” said Tony Russell, managing director of JLL.

Russell and Richard Gonor, executive vice president of JLL, are handling leasing of West.

The overall market for office space has been depressed since the COVID pandemic, but Russell said that  new projects, such as West are the exception.

“What we’ve seen throughout COVID and post COVID is that as companies are bringing their employees back into the office, what companies want is a new environment where their employees want to come back,” Russell said. “They want top quality amenities, like hotel quality fitness centers that open up to the outdoors, that have views of the water.”

Interested Tenants

Originally estimated to pencil out at $400 million, the rising costs of construction materials and labor, coupled with rising interest rates, drove the revised cost estimate for West to $467 million.

“Interest rates and other things in the market have moved pretty quickly over the last couple of years,” Schertzer said.

Holland Partner Group also is in the early planning stages for a development on two contiguous blocks that were part of the old courthouse annex.

“We’re starting to explore options for what we call the middle block parcel directly north of this site. We’re doing initial studies with our architect,” Schertzer said. “We’re looking at different ways of how we might redevelop that site. It’s still a bit early.”

The apartments in West will be a mix of studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units with most ranging from about 570 square feet to about 1,495 square feet, Schertzer said.

“We will have a number of penthouse units as well. Those will be on the large side. Some of them have a two-story space at the top of the building,” Schertzer said. “We also have single-story penthouse units.”

The penthouse apartments will range from 1,775 square feet to 2,1,75 square feet.

Monthly rents have yet to be set.

“We’ll look at that as we get closer, once we’re probably two to three months from opening,” Schertzer said.

The office section will have floor plates of 40,000 square feet, floor-to-ceiling glass, and outdoor balconies.

Schertzer said that the goal is to have restaurants and other food and beverage tenants on the ground floor on the Broadway side of the building and other retail shops on the other side.

As of yet, no one has signed a lease for the retail or office spaces, but “interest is pretty strong,” Russell reported. “We are in negotiations with a few tenants and trading paper. I think we’re in a pretty good spot and this building is very unique.”

Holland Partner Group

Founded: 2001
CEO: Clyde Holland
Headquarters: Vancouver, Washington
Business: Commercial real estate developer
Employees: 750+ employees
Website:  www.hollandpartnergroup.com
Contact: info@hollandpartnergroup.com/
562-285-5300
Notable: With California offices in San Diego, Long Beach and Oakland, the company manages more than 16,800 apartments.

West mixed-use tower has reached a construction milestone with the topping off of the building. Photo courtesy of Holland Partner Group
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