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Downtown San Diego mixed-use, retail thriving

Bill Shrader

The downtown San Diego real estate market is thriving, with a variety of new mixed-use developments and a revitalized waterfront opening new avenues for retail and restaurant venues in the area.

The recent uptick in retail leasing and investments provides an encouraging indicator of continued growth in the urban market. This trend is being driven by new mixed-use developments coming online with retail components. Significant investor interest is driving property sales, especially among owners not previously considering selling; the threat of interest rate increases is driving investors to take advantage of today's low rate environment and leveraging to acquire quality urban assets; and lack of developable land is driving developer interest in redeveloping existing properties.

Consistent with national trends, San Diego's urban neighborhoods are flourishing, with many residents seeking walkable neighborhoods and unique community-serving retail establishments. The downtown San Diego retail market has always benefitted from its reputation as a tourist and entertainment destination, but it is residents seeking the live-work-play lifestyle who lead the resurgence. Along with the daytime population demand, residential development will continue to provide the biggest opportunity for growth.

As Senior Vice President of Colliers International San Diego Region's Urban Property Group, I lead the most experienced localized urban retail team, one with more than 45 years of combined experience. The group, also comprised of David Maxwell, Vice President; Joe Brady, Associate; and Serena Patterson, Associate, has been together for more than 25 years. We focus solely San Diego's urban markets, offering a complete range of mixed-use, retail, and restaurant leasing, sales, and advisory services. As a team, we are trusted advisors to our clients based on a strong base of experience, unparalleled urban market knowledge, and industry-leading track record.

Our passion is to create an overall sense of community in a mixed-use environment and provide owners, developers, and tenants with unsurpassed leasing, sales, and consulting services. We strive to create an environment that adds synergy and economic vitality to San Diego's urban experiences. Coupled with Colliers International's unique local, national, and international platform, we are unrivaled.

We also specialize in providing urban development advisory services from the ground up as a result of our unmatched knowledge in mixed-use construction in the street front retail environment. We possess an in-depth understanding of the sensitivities of individual investors and have extensive experience representing private and institutional investors, 1031 exchanges, and developers in successful and strategic assemblage for redevelopment opportunities.

Currently, we are working on Lane Field, an exciting, transformative project that will create a new "front door" to the San Diego waterfront. The developer, LPP Lane Field, LLC, comprised of Portman Holdings, Phelps Development (a subsidiary of Hensel Phelps Construction Company), and Lankford & Associates, is working with the Port Authority to develop a unique visitor-serving mixed-use development that includes a 400-room, dual-branded hotel in a single building on Pacific Highway and a public park of approximately 1.5 acres on the western portion fronting Harbor Drive. Lane Field will be approximately 27,000 square feet, including unique shops and three view-oriented restaurants that will boast exceptional bay-front and harbor views.

An effective way to assess the quality and services the Urban Property Group provides is to look at the results we have delivered to our clients. In serving such established clients in the urban marketplace for over four decades, we have delivered on our promise to create, optimize, and protect value. We have completed more than 700 lease and sale transactions with a total consideration of $730 million and over 3 million square feet. For this reason, the Urban Property Group is consistently rewarded with an exceptional rate of repeat business.

We take a catered and individualized approach with each client and for every project we represent. We think like owners, searching for the best possible solution to meet our clients' goals in each transaction, rather than brokers looking to make a deal. As the only specialized urban brokerage team in San Diego, we would like to apply our expertise, knowledge, and experience to your property.


Written by Bill Shrader, Senior Vice President and leader of the Urban Property Group. For more information about Colliers International San Diego Region's Urban Property Group, please contact Serena Patterson at serena.patterson@colliers.com.

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