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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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.
DEVELOPMENT: Lead Contractor and City Have Yet to Respond to Action
A local coalition that supports nonunion construction companies wants officials to make public details of a labor agreement tied to the San Diego Convention Center expansion project.
RETAIL: Local Building Stores Post 6% Job Growth in Past Year
A brightening home-buying and building climate is raising hiring prospects at the national home improvement chains serving San Diego County.
DESIGN: Office Renovation, Re-Design Likely to Boost Demand
Local architects in 2013 will be looking to build on a postrecession recovery in work assignments that took hold in 2011 and accelerated during the past year, even as military-related projects continued to wane in San Diego County.
TRAVEL: Some Properties See A Chance to Better Serve Clients
Hospitality and legal experts see both opportunities and challenges resulting from recently enacted federal regulations requiring hotels to make pools and spas accessible for customers with impaired mobility, under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
MARKETING: Airliner And Firm Share Charitable And Demographic Interests
After winning over a crucial customer for its tech-enabled restaurant rewards program — billionaire Sir Richard Branson — locally based MOGL has landed Virgin America Inc. as its first airline partner.
RETAIL: Shopping Hubs ‘Make a Scene’ Through Renovations
Jeffrey Essakow likens the recent local wave of big-money retail center renovations to the shakeup that occurred when Tiger Woods began dominating the pro golf circuit a decade ago. “It forced all of the other players to improve their game,” said Essakow, CEO of Protea Properties LLC of La Jolla, which owns the newly renovated Flower Hill Promenade in Del Mar.
TRAVEL: Daily Service Launch in Limbo; Boeing 777 to Take Over Route
Experts are uncertain whether the grounding of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner will also put a damper on Japan Airlines’ scheduled March 1 launch of daily local service between San Diego and Tokyo.
This will be a busy year in retail for locally based developer Sudberry Properties, which is nearing completion on a Carlsbad shopping center and moving ahead with planning for two large projects in San Diego.
COMMERCIAL: Vacancy Decreases, Rent Increases Draw More Investors
San Diego-based BCL Inc. went shopping for office buildings and found two local properties matching its sweet-spot criteria in the final months of 2012.
HOSPITALITY: Experts See Investors, Favorable Financing Fueling Deals
San Diego County’s hotel investment sales trends checked back into historical reality in 2012, following a 2011 series of high-profile trophy acquisitions that pushed local deal volume for that year well above $1 billion.
REAL ESTATE: Developer Moves Ahead With Projects
Prominent local builder The Corky McMillin Cos. will be responding to the newly awakened housing market by pressing forward this year on two San Diego County projects long delayed by a sluggish economic recovery.
REAL ESTATE: Firms Pursue Opportunities in Other Areas of the U.S.
When it comes to work assignments and investments tied to distressed commercial real estate, most opportunities landing on the doorsteps of locally based firms are originating far beyond San Diego County’s borders.
Early indicators showed San Diego’s office real estate market starting 2013 still in recovery mode, although continued technology-related job growth could help put the region in an actual growth trajectory starting later this year.
FINANCE: Officials Seek Best Mechanisms To Draw Developers
City and port district officials may be testing the private equity and loan markets, among other options aimed at bringing aboard commercial developers for a proposed transformation of the Chula Vista bay-front.
BUILDING: Family Firms Know the Importance of Good Customer Relations
John Wirtz remembers visiting work sites when he was three years old, learning the construction business from his father, John Q., in the 1950s.
PROPERTY: Westcore Still Has Eye on Markets, As It Assimilates Purchases
Westcore Properties founder and Chairman Marc Brutten says the San Diego-based investment firm will likely take a breather of sorts in the early part of 2013, after ending 2012 with a $700 million flurry of property acquisitions.
PROPERTY: Tenants’ Options Limited as New Projects Are Few
Office property experts say 2013 could be the year that the “flight to quality” trend of the past two years plays itself out. A continuing scarcity of large spaces for growth-oriented companies could spur the local market to move beyond its tenant musical-chairs phase, encouraging building owners and developers to move forward with redevelopment and new construction projects.
TRAVEL: Tokyo Flight Boosts Region’s Profile; Hotel Metrics Improve
Hospitality and tourism leaders will be looking to overcome fears about the national and global economies, as the San Diego region aims for a third consecutive year of local visitor and hotel business growth in 2013.
PROPERTY: Expert Sees Situation Damaging The Region’s Reputation
If past trends are an indication, says local commercial real estate broker Tom van Betten, the coming year could see the continuing emergence of two distinctly different supply-and-demand realities for office users scouting new space in the San Diego region.
CONSTRUCTION: Region Employs 57,600, Up 5 Percent from 2011
Local construction companies are anticipating a continued recovery in commercial projects in 2013, spurred largely by the growing health care and technology industries, even though a return to anything resembling pre-recession workloads is likely still years away.
PROPERTY: Community’s Potential Energizes Retail And Housing Construction
An improving economy is spurring new progress on long-discussed development projects in places like Carlsbad, where work is proceeding on a large retail center and adjacent new homes on an 83-acre site known as La Costa Town Square.
San Diego-based investment firm Westcore Properties has purchased a $600 million portfolio of industrial properties, with 110 buildings spanning approximately 11 million square feet in Northern California and the Midwest.
THEATERS: Movies Are Just Part of Entertainment Mix as Exhibitors Diversify
UltraStar Cinemas is selling off seven of its movie theater locations for approximately $13 million, as the Vista-based company and its rivals aim to diversify their role in the entertainment business beyond film exhibitor.
PROPERTY: Offerings Include Luxury and Entry-Level Sites
The coming year will likely be a busy one for locally based developer ColRich, which has several apartment and single-family projects either moving forward or nearing completion in 2013.
The long battered home-building market has shown signs of life this year in San Diego County, with contracts for future residential construction up 11 percent from a year ago in the first 11 months of the year.
REAL ESTATE: Thousands Of Properties Change Hands With $16B Archstone Deal
Two of the nation’s largest apartment owners, Equity Residential and AvalonBay Communities Inc., are about to significantly boost their national and local footprints, with their recently announced $16 billion purchase of the assets and liabilities of Archstone Enterprise LP.
TRAVEL: Airport Catering to Increase in International Travel
San Diego International Airport recently debuted its first-ever duty free store, as the facility looks to bolster services catering to a growing contingent of international travelers to the region.
RETAIL: Consultants Help Market Review Sell-Off, Partnership Options
Don’t expect bargain-basement transaction prices if or when the local spaces occupied by Tesco Plc’s Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market go back on the block.
PROPERTY: Business Activity Seen as Key to Revitalizing the Area
The last pieces are falling into place for the long-awaited, $80 million mixed-use Mercado del Barrio development in San Diego’s Barrio Logan, which recently saw the opening of a new apartment complex and the neighborhood’s first major grocery store.
PROPERTY: Expansion Considered at Tech Center In a Prime Submarket
Spurred in part by rising local space demand among technology firms, owner Beacon Capital Partners LLC has long-range plans in the works that could nearly triple the square footage of San Diego Tech Center in Sorrento Mesa, already among the region’s largest office campuses.
PROPERTY: Vision Is For 3-Year Makeover to Draw Tourists, Locals
The new operators of Belmont Park will soon embark on a multimillion-dollar revitalization of the historic Mission Beach attraction, aiming to diversify offerings for locals while restoring its place among San Diego’s tourism icons.
PROPERTY: Kilroy Submits Revised Plans for Carmel Valley
Developer Kilroy Realty Corp. has revised plans for its $650 million, mixed-use “Main Street” project in Carmel Valley, which has been in the works for four years and represents the last large office and retail development expected to be built in that San Diego neighborhood.
BUILDING: Tenants Expect Energy Efficiency in Properties
Green construction and improvement projects already figure prominently in the work of local contracting firms
TOURISM: South County Site Boasts SeaWorld Brand
Tourism leaders are looking for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s water park acquisition and upcoming expansion in Chula Vista to create a big economic splash for the entire South County
TECH: Solutions Include Using Apps, Pedestrian-Friendly Areas
Parking guidance technologies — from companies including Vista-based McCain Inc. and Streetline Inc. of Foster City — are helping curb frustration among time-strapped drivers searching for available spaces.
ECONOMY: National Result Favors Region’s Real Estate
Despite talk of massive federal spending cuts and other uncertainties as lawmakers look to avoid going over a “fiscal cliff,” real estate experts say the San Diego region should benefit in the long run from the results of recent national elections.
REAL ESTATE: They May Lessen State’s Drawing Power
The jury remains out on the exact effects, but industry experts say newly passed California tax hikes could have long-term impacts on local retail center landlords and other commercial property owners looking to fill tenant vacancies.