It's down to the finishing touches on TR Office, downtown San Diego's first historic office condominium project and a key milestone in the revitalization of East Village.
"TR Office is a one-of-a-kind project and represents a unique blend of the history of East Village and its future as a vital business and residential downtown neighborhood," said Dennis Cruzan, principal with Cruzan|Monroe, the project developer.
"Taking advantage of the catalytic effect of Petco Park, we were very committed to doing the right thing with TR," he said. "The project went through several iterations as market dynamics shifted, and the final concept -- contemporary office condominiums over historic warehouse -- has proven to be the right fit at the right time."
TR Office features 28 upper-level condominiums above an approximate 19,000-square-foot warehouse -- the 73-year-old TR Produce Warehouse facility, now TR Retail -- that is slated for restaurant and retail uses. Twenty-one of the trendy, loft-style condos across from Petco Park have already been sold, and the remaining seven have just been released for purchase. Suite sizes range from 700 to 1,300 square feet with prices for the remaining units ranging from the mid-$300,000s to over $1 million. Most of the available lofts look directly into Petco Park.
Planning on the project began in 2002, the same year that Dennis Cruzan partnered with Philip Monroe to form the real estate development and investment firm of Cruzan|Monroe. The TR Office site was acquired by the team following Cruzan's prior tenure with JMI Realty, where he was a key facilitator in the development and master planning of the $1.8 billion Ballpark District.
"We knew that we had an opportunity to create something special with the historic TR Produce building," Cruzan said. "TR is a project that would add to the neighborhood's synergy and also provide smaller businesses with an opportunity to invest in their workplace in a hip, urban neighborhood. We think it becomes a bit of an X-factor to the neighborhood."
Cruzan|Monroe tapped experts well known for their historical renovation work: architects Richard Bundy and David Thompson, general contractor Mike Wheelihan and in-house project and construction manager Al DeBerardinis. DeBerardinis has been responsible for some of San Diego's most notable projects, including the Omni San Diego Hotel across from Petco Park, and has won many Golden Orchid awards over his 16-year construction career.
The TR Office "X-factor" is right on target, offering hip loft spaces that appeal to smaller users who value ownership. The project's urban/industrial aesthetic feel is created through the use of contemporary concrete floors, exposed ceilings, glass entrance doors flanked by sidelights and state-of-the-art technology infrastructure (fully wired and fiber-ready). Many of the spaces offer views of Petco Park, and all units come with their own restroom facilities, built-in cabinetry and dedicated HVAC systems.
Buyers in TR Office to date include CPAs, lawyers, mortgage brokers, a furniture showroom, real estate developers/investors and other entrepreneurial firms.
"Most companies want to put their money toward something tangible, building equity rather than paying rent to a landlord," said Barry Mahlberg, a senior vice president/principal with Burnham Real Estate. Mahlberg, along with Bradford Perry of Cushman Wakefield, is handling marketing efforts for TR Office. "The cost to own versus leasing is actually less over a several year period, particularly when tax advantages and controlled operating expenses are coupled with appreciating asset value and equity buildup," he said.
In suburban markets, office condos have become the savvy investment opportunity for smaller companies, with soaring land and construction costs, the shortage of developable land and a growing economy that is increasing demand for office space, making future rent increases inevitable.
"TR brings the office condominium concept to downtown in a one-of-a-kind asset that will never be duplicated," said Mahlberg. "Buyers like the dynamic Cruzan|Monroe has created -- very cool work spaces in an area that is alive with entertainment, sports, shopping, dining and residential."
"Our team can look at this project with pride," Cruzan said. "They have been an integral part of something special that will add value both to the buyers and the surrounding neighborhood."
As TR Office has evolved over the past four years, so has Cruzan|Monroe. Today, the company is one of San Diego County's leading development and investment companies with a total portfolio value of approximately $850 million, which includes 1 million square feet of existing office and industrial space and another 2 million square feet of space under development.
For marketing information on TR Office, please contact Barry Mahlberg at (858) 558-5636 or Brad Perry at (858) 332-3428. You can also visit the project Web site at www.troffice.com.
Cruzan|Monroe is located at 12770 High Bluff Drive, Suite 270 in San Diego. The company Web site is www.cruzanmonroe.com.