TOURISM: Plan Will Raise Area’s Profile as Tourist Draw
If it can clear some significant long-range hurdles, San Diego can turn its cross-border proximity to the growing city of Tijuana into a boon for the local hospitality industry, tourism and government leaders said at a recent forum in Mission Valley.
Tourism: Iconic Hotel Is Major Tourist Draw
The resident historian at Hotel del Coronado notes that the historic beachfront property — marking its 125th anniversary this year — not only put San Diego on the map as a national tourist destination, but also helped pave the way for the military presence that also drives the local economy.
BUILDING: A Process Called ‘Lean Construction’ Smooths Road to Renovation
Tenant improvements and site renovations have been crucial to the business enhancement efforts of local contracting companies over the past five years, as work assignments in new-construction projects remain tough to come by in San Diego County and elsewhere.
REAL ESTATE: New Agency Will Address Plans For Redevelopment Needs
San Diego officials in coming weeks will be strategizing on ways to maintain development momentum downtown and elsewhere in the city, without the help of the California redevelopment agency program abolished by the state last year.
Real Estate Column
The latest figures from McGraw-Hill Construction show San Diego County 18 percent ahead of a year ago for construction projects in the pipeline.
BUILDING: Firm Adds Workers To Handle Pre-Construction Jobs
Much of the work of Cumming Corp. is finished long before most of its clients’ construction projects begin sprouting from the ground. But an improving economy is spurring the San Diego-based company to brace itself to serve rising demand for its pre-construction project and cost management services.
PROPERTY: Firm’s Focus Is on Renovation Of Existing Properties
When Pacifica Hotel Co. recently sold the 73-room Empress Hotel in La Jolla, company leaders said the sale would open up opportunities for the growth-focused firm to pursue new coastal hotel development deals.
PROPERTY: Tight Supply, Active Lenders, Hungry Investors Drive Sector
Lenders, investors and landlords continue to capitalize on San Diego County’s apartment fundamentals in the early months of 2013, with high demand and limited supply driving rents and property prices upward.
RETAIL: Hispanic Buying Power to Reach $1.3 Trillion in 2015
Specialty grocers serving the Hispanic community — such as Northgate Gonzalez Markets, Vallarta Supermarkets Inc. and El Super — have played a big role in filling some empty and underutilized retail spaces in San Diego County.
PROPERTY: Avison Young Brings Its Model to Local Market
Toronto-based commercial real estate services firm Avison Young is rapidly growing its own U.S. office footprint, most recently entering a competitive San Diego market already filled with several established regional and national brokerage players.
PROPERTY: Location Options Are Limited in Tight Market
Vacated San Diego County retail space often doesn’t stay empty for long, a continuing trend illustrated by cases like the recent closure of a Kmart store in Mission Valley.
REAL ESTATE: Vacancy Rate for Sector Is at Lowest Level Since Mid-2011
Improving fundamentals in San Diego County’s industrial property market are piquing the interest of locally based investors like SR Commercial, as vacancy rates in that sector continue to head downward.
Real Estate Column
A Denver-based investment firm has purchased a La Jolla apartment community located on a site with ties to San Diego’s history.
PROPERTY: Area’s Popularity Increasing With Various Firms
Mayor Bob Filner recently appointed Jason Hughes, who heads the local brokerage firm Hughes Marino Inc., to advise the City of San Diego on a volunteer basis as it decides what to do with a half-million square feet of downtown office leases set to expire in the next few months.
TRAVEL: California Pacific On ‘Fast-Track’ for FAA OK
California Pacific Airlines’ newly appointed president and CEO, industry veteran John Selvaggio, remains confident that the fledgling carrier can take to the skies by year’s end, despite a long and turbulent certification and startup process.
PROPERTY: REIT Sets Goal of $200M In 2013Acquisitions
Excel Trust Inc.’s growth strategy for 2013 includes standing by the acquisition priorities that helped it significantly expand its business base since becoming a public company in April 2010.
REAL ESTATE: Company Boosts Portfolio With New $640M Acquisition
Leaders of BioMed Realty Trust Inc. note that the company’s recently announced $640 million acquisition of a life-sciences property portfolio, currently held by Wexford Science & Technology LLC of Baltimore, underscores two key aspects of a growth strategy that has actually been in place for some time.
PROPERTY: Lower Rents, New Highway Are Area’s Pluses
Locally based Murphy Development Co., already the largest developer of industrial properties in Otay Mesa, is increasing its bet on that region’s long-term economic prospects by starting work on its fourth South County industrial project, a $300 million development known as Brown Field Technology Park.
TOURISM: Cohn Restaurant to Also Be Part of Emerging Scene
San Diego developer Pacifica Cos. is nearing completion on a $34 million boutique luxury hotel in Imperial Beach, called Pier South, that local planners are also hoping serves as a big economic catalyst for the city and South County.
TOURISM: Funds to Be Released; Filner Says Transparency Increased
San Diego City Council will soon clear the way for the first new funding to be disbursed for promotion of the region’s crucial tourism industry, after the mayor’s office and Tourism Marketing District officials apparently resolved a bitter dispute over the district’s renewal.
DINING: Tom Ham’s to Make Better Use of Scenic Location
Locally based restaurant operator Shelter Island Inc. is in the midst of a $3.5 million makeover of its landmark Tom Ham’s Lighthouse at Harbor Island, aiming to pay homage to its history while better capitalizing on its waterfront location.
Property: Limited Space Options Draw National, Local Investors
Continued recovery in San Diego County’s office market is catching the attention of local and national investors, with the first quarter of 2013 witnessing a string of high-profile property acquisitions and leasings.
PROPERTY: Class A Space Fills Up, Heating Up Interest in Class B
What a difference an economic recovery makes, when it comes to the balance of power between office tenants and landlords in San Diego County.
TRAVEL: Legoland’s New Hotel Puts Park On the Overnight Map
The Carlsbad theme park was already called Legoland California Resort well before construction began on the colorful three-story, 250-room hotel set to officially open its doors April 5.
REAL ESTATE: Investors Meeting Demand With Redevelopment, Renovation
Sorrento Valley and Sorrento Mesa have some of the region’s oldest commercial properties, with inventory dating back to the 1970s and earlier, but those submarkets have recently seen a rise in redevelopment, renovation and leasing activity.
TOURISM: $50M Renovation Planned For Historic Property
Pacific Hospitality Group Inc.’s next fixer-upper project is a planned $50 million renovation of the historic Warner Springs Ranch resort, which the San Diego company recently purchased in a bankruptcy auction.
PROPERTY: Terramar Sees Drawing Power of Good Food
Carlsbad-based Terramar Retail Centers has at least two notable restaurant tenants lined up for its $40 million project in downtown San Diego, known as “The Headquarters,” and is targeting an October opening at the renovated former police headquarters building.
TOURISM: New Site Hopes to Draw International Visitors
Construction workers are busily transforming a portion of Chula Vista into something resembling an island beach resort, as the parent of SeaWorld San Diego aims for a June 1 opening of its Aquatica San Diego waterpark.
PROPERTY: Apartment Project Is User-Friendly for Technology
Residents of an apartment community soon to open in the Scripps Ranch neighborhood, developed by H.G. Fenton Co., will be the first in the region able to get all of their power from the sun, and track their usage on their smartphones.
Real Estate Column
Another downtown San Diego hotel in the hip, upscale “boutique” category has changed hands, with Illinois-based Inland Real Estate Group’s recent $53 million purchase of Andaz San Diego in the Gaslamp Quarter.
PROPERTY: Firm’s Portfolio Can Weather Economic Storms
CEO Tom A. Lewis says there’s likely more robust activity ahead this year for Realty Income Corp., even after a first quarter that has already seen the company close on a $3.1 billion corporate acquisition and complete a $756 million stock offering.
PROPERTY: Unknowns Could Make or Break the Momentum
The past year saw downtown San Diego’s largest office high-rises reverse six years of flat or negative occupancy trends, as renewed investor activity and an influx of new tenants signaled noticeable recovery in the city’s central business district, according to a report by the brokerage firm Jones Lang LaSalle.
GREEN: Its LEED Ranking Is Seen as a First for Such a Center
The local region continues to boost its profile as a hub for energy-efficient buildings, with San Diego International Airport registering what officials say is a global first for an airport: LEED Gold certification for its recently completed receiving and distribution center.
TRAVEL: Layoff Notices Sent as Dispute With Mayor Continues
The San Diego Tourism Authority has fended off a bid by the mayor’s office to rescind convention center marketing duties now performed by the region’s largest tourism promotion agency.
PROPERTY: Effect on Smaller Defense Contractors Is Wildcard
Experts say the local commercial office market should be spared from major pain caused by forced federal budget cuts, at least in the short run, thanks largely to a diverse economy, limited new construction, and healthy office tenant demand across several sectors.
San Diego’s life sciences real estate market experienced a busy 2012, with a flurry of renovations, big-ticket property purchases and announcements of upcoming construction. According to a recent report by the brokerage firm Cassidy Turley San Diego, the region’s biotech and pharmaceutical hubs are likely to remain beehives of activity in 2013.
PROPERTY: Plans Are In Works for New Outlet Center This Year
Developers, lenders and retailers have recently been following those crowds of shoppers seeking out bargains at stores along the U.S-Mexico border in the San Diego region.
REAL ESTATE: Chula Vista Complex Sells for $90 Million
When locally based R&V Management Corp. recently purchased the 336-unit Missions at Sunbow in Chula Vista for $90 million from Equity Residential, it marked the largest single recorded apartment transaction so far this year in San Diego County.
TRAVEL: Airport’s Green Renovation Is On Time and on Budget
After nearly five years of construction, the $1 billion Green Build project is nearing its final approach at San Diego International Airport, with the energy-efficient expansion set for an August completion.
TOURISM: Investors Ride to the Rescue of Luxury Desert Resort
A trio of prominent local investors, including former San Diego City Manager Jack McGrory, has restored the name La Casa del Zorro to the closed Borrego Springs resort they recently purchased in a short sale for $2.45 million.
TOURISM: Mayor Says It’s a ‘Bad Deal’ for City, Seeks Major Changes
Efforts to market San Diego to visitors remain in limbo amid political and legal feuding over implementation of a recently renewed Tourism Marketing District, with the region’s main tourism promotion agency mulling staffing and other cuts that could occur later this year.
Real Estate Column
Commercial property deal volume in San Diego County topped $1.6 billion in 2012, a significant improvement over the last several years. But debt and equity financing have yet to return to pre-recession peaks, according to a recently released capital markets report by the brokerage firm CBRE.
DINING: Project Pie Targets Work Crowd, Scouts Locations
For those willing to stop by his new fast-casual pizza eateries instead of having it delivered, Carlsbad-based restaurateur James Markham says he’s got “30 minutes or less” beat by a mile. His operating recipe calls for made-to-order pies in about two minutes.
TAX: State Plans for Change May Affect Taxes, Hiring Incentives
Commercial brokers and local business operators are among those looking to put the brakes on state plans to curtail tax incentives available through California’s Enterprise Zone program, which gives tax credits to companies that create jobs by establishing or expanding operations in designated districts.
RETAIL: Local Retailer Plans New Stores In Locations Nationwide
Pasha Automotive Services, one of the most successful maritime tenants on the San Diego waterfront, plans to expand its operations in National City, bringing in more cars and creating more jobs. However, Pasha’s expansion is at odds with an RV park planned by National City adjacent to the Pasha site.
MOVIES: Expansion Sought In Production and Distribution
Hollywood’s annual awards season, now in full-hoopla bloom with the approach of the Oscars telecast, often gets local producers like Dale Strack wondering how San Diego County can nab a larger chunk of California’s multibillion-dollar movie production and distribution industry.
San Diego County placed sixth in the latest ranking of the nation’s strongest apartment markets, published annually by the brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap.
REAL ESTATE: Region’s ‘Attractive Market’ Draws A Host of Entities to Space
Meeting recently in San Diego for the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual commercial real estate financing conference, experts were bullish on national prospects for commercial and multifamily lending.
HOSPITALITY: Restaurateurs See Potential for Profits Alfresco
Restaurant operators are throwing their industry’s regional economic clout behind a proposal to streamline the approval of sidewalk dining spaces in the city of San Diego.
HOSPITALITY: Future Ads Depend on Council’s Approval of TMD Budget
Officials don’t yet know how it will translate in terms of lost travel revenue for the region.