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707 Broadway has a new face in downtown

Managing an 18-story, 220,000-square-foot, high-rise building during major renovations is all just part of the job. The Washington Mutual Tower located at 707 Broadway is currently going through major rehabilitation. Susan St. John, on-site property manager with Meissner Jacquet Investment Management Services at 707 Broadway, shared what it is like to manage a building during extensive renovations.

Chris McKellar is California Traditions' CEO and development partner for 707 Broadway LLC. In his effort to restore this building, he is spending nearly $11 million dollars to improve the building and the adjacent 12-level parking structure. Included in the extensive list of upgrades are new tenant improvements and elevator lobbies on nearly every floor, a "stone-like exterior facade," a tripling of the electrical capacity, a new HVAC system, elevator upgrades, state-of-the-art security and life safety systems. Lobby improvements included new flooring, fixtures, furniture and plants.

The Washington Mutual Tower offers open floor plates of 9,100 square feet per floor and parking at four spaces per 1,000 square feet leased, a valuable amenity in downtown San Diego.

"Our goal is to minimize any disturbance to our tenants by the renovation activity and ensure that they can go about their daily routines uninterrupted," St. John commented. "Careful planning, prioritization and flexibility are the keys during a renovation process."

Construction plans change on a daily basis at 707 Broadway as critical issues arise during construction. "I am proactive in my attempts to create a clean and safe working environment for my tenants," St. John said. Establishing relationships with the tenants and vendors are essential.

The major project service providers are as follows: Project management provided by California Traditions Inc.; construction by Sundt Construction Co.; architecture by The McKinley Associates, property management by Meissner Jacquet Investment Management Services, leasing by Tim Cowden and John Shelton of Grubb & Ellis Co.

The challenges of a property manager are all encompassing. "Experienced professionals are a fundamental element in providing first rate service to our clients," said Jerry H. Jacquet, principal of Meissner Jacquet.

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