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Loft conversions under way at Fletcher, Fox buildings

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Los Angeles-based Champion Development has begun what will total $10.3 million in renovations on the Fletcher-Salmons and Samuel Fox buildings at Sixth and Broadway in downtown San Diego. The projects have now been renamed Fletcher Sky Lofts and Samuel Fox Lofts. The Fletcher building constructed in 1906 and the Fox building built in 1929 were acquired for $14.7 million in the spring of 2005 by Champion.

Mihos Construction, a downtown specialist for more than 23 years, is the general contractor for both projects. Fletcher Sky Lofts is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2006. Samuel Fox Lofts will be completed in August 2006. Each building will include 21 residential lofts for sale. Champion Development plans to replicate the buildings' historic shells and completely redesign the interiors.

The buildings also include 13,040 square feet of combined retail/restaurant space. The Fletcher property has approximately 6,200 square feet of restaurant/retail space for lease. In its early days, the High Italian Renaissance-style building, designed by Edward Quayle, featured Sunshine Lane Bowling Alley.

The Fox Loft property has nearly 7,000 square feet of retail/restaurant use. The Spanish Baroque-style, four-story building with subterranean parking was designed by William Templeton Johnson and housed Lion Clothing Co. -- the buildings only user until 1984. In the 1980s, the building was adapted to apartments, which has made the recent conversion to condominiums a smooth process.

The Burnham Urban Retail Group has begun ground-floor marketing efforts for the two buildings. "These two projects will play essential roles in bringing Broadway -- downtown San Diego's main east-west thoroughfare -- to life and enhancing the neighborhood's synergy," said Corinna Gattasso, associate vice president with the group. Burnham Urban Retail Group is a specialized group within Burnham Real Estate.

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