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McKellar, McGowan formally team up

Longtime La Jolla developer Christopher S. McKellar, president of McKellar Development, and Timothy J. McGowan, president of Ashbrook Communities, have formally combined forces to form a new firm.

McKellar is the CEO of the new firm and McGowan is the company president.

Jeff Johnson is executive vice president of the new firm and will oversee all legal and transactional affairs of the company. He also serves in a project manager role, assisting in all aspects of acquisition, finance, entitlement, design, development and sale. Johnson worked at McKellar Development for 26 years serving a similar role.

"We have different but complementary disciplines, we have known each other for about 25 years, have a similar business philosophy and work ethic, and that makes for a strong company," McGowan said of McKellar.

McKellar McGowan LLC is located on Prospect Street in La Jolla, near where McKellar Development of La Jolla had its headquarters for many years. The new firm will specialize in property acquisition, land entitlement, site planning, finance and equity, land development, construction risk management, residential and commercial construction.

The two developers who have developed more than 20,000 residential units and 2.5 million square feet of office and industrial property between them, have formed the new firm to initially develop projects in such markets as Mission Beach, Oceanside, Temecula and Murrieta, with plans to expand their reach later.

McKellar has developed a range of residential and commercial developments over the course of more than 35 years in San Diego County. He is known for masterplanning and developing the 2,500-unit Renaissance La Jolla development, as well as having built the 342,000-square-foot San Diego Design Center.

McGowan formed Ashbrook in 1995. He has 40 years of experience in homebuilding, land entitlement and development and residential lot sales. His combined industry experience has resulted in construction of more than 1,000 homes; entitlement, development and land sales in excess of 4,000 residential lots and more than $1 billion in revenue.

Last December the partnership paid $18.5 million to acquire the old Mission Beach Elementary School site at 818 Santa Barbara Place in Mission Beach.

The winning bid was $2 million more than the $16.5 million bid made by San Francisco-based Carmel Partners.

McGowan said about 63 units have been proposed for the Mission Beach site in a mixture of duplexes, triplexes and four-plexes. McGowan said he expects groundbreaking for that project to happen in about 20 months with roughly a two-year buildout.

In Oceanside the partnership plans to develop 17 oceanfront units on a site that would have allowed as many as 24.

"We're going to make the units a little bit bigger in that project," McGowan said. "That project is right along Oceanside's Strand."

A 7.7-acre residential parcel in Temecula is being held for future development within the Redhawk masterplan that is zoned for 77 single-family, detached homes.

"That's going to go to the (Temecula) Planning Commission shortly," McGowan continued.

Another acquisition is a 122-acre parcel adjacent to the French Valley Airport, a small general aviation facility in Murrieta. The property is deemed suitable for both residential and commercial development. Current plans call for about 300 single-family units and roughly 16 acres of mixed commercial uses, including standard office, retail, and potentially medical office space.

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