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Mission Valley's Class A office building breaks ground on Phase III

Rio Vista Plaza in Mission Valley will soon be complete, as construction has begun on the third and final building of Griffin Properties LLC's business center.

The site for Phase III of Rio Vista Plaza in Mission Valley has been graded in preparation for construction.

Located at 9095 Rio San Diego Drive, Rio Vista Plaza III is a four-story, 83,644-square-foot, $15 million Class A project that sits on a 4.5-acre site. It is expected to be complete in spring 2005.

The Griffin Properties LLC project is marketed by Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial, contracted by BYCOR, and designed by Hawkins & Hawkins Architects and Howard Anderson Architects & Associates.

Once finished, the Rio Vista Plaza III will complete the three-building business plaza that currently consists of the 78,000-square-foot Rio Vista Plaza I and the 30,000-square-foot Rio Plaza Vista II. Both building tenant capacities are either full or near full. The first building was built in 1989, and the second in 2003.

State Farm Insurance, First Pacific Federal Credit Union, Wood & Wear Insurance, USE Credit Union and San Diego Medical Credit Union occupy Rio Vista Plaza, said Richard Gonor, of Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial.

The new building is expected to be in high demand with similar type tenants.

"We're in negotiations right now and hope to secure leases soon. The previous phase was 100 percent leased prior to completion of construction," Gonor said.

The new Rio Plaza Vista III building will be a combination of technological convenience and architectural elegance. It will feature a two-story lobby with stone flooring, cherry wood paneling and granite accents, a state-of-the-art energy system, high-speed data and cable television connections with empty 4-inch conduits for fiber optic needs. The building itself is made of structural steel.

Additionally, the plaza will be furnished with Jerome Stone, mirrored ceilings and elevators featuring cherry wood walls and stone floors.

The business plaza is also designed to encourage outdoor activities, such as strolling and jogging, with built in walking paths and a proximal location to the San Diego River. Rio Plaza Vista III will feature showers to accommodate tenants.

One of the biggest draws may perhaps be the parking. At 5.4 parking spaces per 1,000 square feet, the new Rio Plaza Vista boasts one of the highest parking ratios in central San Diego, Gonor said. Parking will be available on a surface lot adjacent to Rio Plaza Vista III.

"This is a tight market, with about 8 percent vacancy," Gonor said. "There's a definite lack of land that can be developed for office buildings. Also, tenants seek higher quality finishes and more parking."

Rio Plaza Vista is located near the San Diego Trolley, allowing for easy access to public transportation. It is also sits next door to a hotel, and in the proximity of four highways, a retail community and Qualcomm Stadium.

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