Downtown's tallest residential high-rise tower is soaring to new heights on the site of an old power plant near the city's vibrant west-end waterfront.
The Electra, a 43-story resident project that broke ground last fall, is now under construction at the southwest corner of Kettner Boulevard and Broadway in the Columbia district of downtown San Diego.
The landmark building, featuring a blend of historic and ultra-modern architecture, is reaching unprecedented levels of luxury living as well as setting a stratospheric sales record.
"We're raising the bar sky-high for those seeking top-flight urban living," said Dennis Serraglio, director of sales and marketing for project developer Bosa Development. "Electra - as the tallest condominium building in the metro area -- will leave a lasting mark in the modern skyline as well as preserve a piece of San Diego's history."
The 248-unit tower, not expected to be complete until late 2007, sold out just weeks after sales began, he added.
"The response was phenomenal and sales skyrocketed at an unprecedented rate," Serraglio said, noting there were more than 6,000 names on the pre-construction inquiry list.
If there is a bubble downtown, Electra is rising high above it.
Attracting mainly locals, Serraglio described the condo and town home buyers as predominately professionals in their 40s and 50s, "most downsizing from surrounding metro areas or North County." About 20 percent, he estimated, are second-home buyers looking for a downtown San Diego address.
Designed by Vancouver-based Dikeakos Architect, Electra comprises 212 condos and 36 town homes, ranging from 900-square-foot one-bedroom units priced from $480,000 to 2,000-square-foot penthouse suites topping the price list at $2.4 million. Many will have great views west to the San Diego Bay, south to Baja Mexico and east to downtown and the foothills beyond.
Inside, Serraglio said Electra will be "inspiring with its sophisticated ambience of traditional continental elegance. Outside, it will offer stunning lifestyle opportunities that make San Diego the most livable city on the West Coast."
In addition to the 248-unit residential tower, rehabilitation of the historic San Diego Gas & Electric Station B Power Plant is part of the $150 million project.
The power plant, built in phases between 1911 and 1941, closed several decades ago but has been targeted for preservation by several groups, including Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO).
According to Serraglio, the façade of the Art-Deco style building will be retained and the owners' stunning 60-foot-high atrium lounge just off the lobby will boast an indoor fountain, skylight and displays featuring the history of the plant and downtown area.
The Vancouver-based Bosa Development also is donating ground-floor space to San Diego State University for an art gallery.
Electra joins a handful of other Bosa projects that now dot the downtown San Diego landscape, including Horizons, Discovery at Cortez Hill, Park Place on Harbor Drive and The Grande at Santa Fe Place.
Next up for Bosa is Legend, a 24-story residential project at Sixth and F Street in "left field" of the Ballpark District. The 148 units, ranging in size from 800 to 1,600 square feet, will be priced from $480,000 to $1.7 million. Sales will begin at the end of October with completion slated for mid-2007.
Esterbrooks is a San Diego-based freelance writer.
Developer/Contractor: Bosa Development, Vancouver, B.C.
Architect: Dikeakos Architect, Vancouver, B.C.