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Construction under way on new commercial center in El Cajon

Priest Development Corp. has begun construction on a new commercial center in El Cajon, set to be finished in early 2008, and the company plans to relocate its headquarters to one of the three new buildings. The new center, called Corners Promenade, will be on the southwest corner of Main Street and Magnolia Avenue, adjacent to the 28 town homes that make up Promenade Square on the back side of the corner.

Priest Development is currently choosing from a list of potential businesses to move into the new space, said Nicholas Priest, project supervisor and son of owner Daryl Priest, and buyers will have been selected by mid-September. Four or five businesses are expected to lease space in the two single-story buildings and the lower levels of the three-story building that make up the new center. The new Priest Development headquarters will occupy the entire third story. All of Priest Development's employees and operations will be relocated to the new building.

Construction on Corners Promenade began in June, and is expected to be complete within seven months. The two single-story buildings will be 1,600 square feet and 4,000 square feet, and the three-story building will be 27,000 square feet. Priest Development is doing most of the construction, while All Crete Concrete Inc. is supplying the concrete, and Artimex Iron Co. is providing the steel. Priest estimated the total cost of construction at $6 million.

"It's a pretty prime location right there on the corner in El Cajon, especially because the area is getting nicer," Priest said. "Better businesses are coming in, bringing in traffic. El Cajon is getting back to the small-town, everybody-knows-each-other mentality."

The nearby 2,000-sqaure-foot Promenade Square town homes, also developed and owned by Priest Development, were completed in 2002, and have all been occupied. The town homes sold for $315,000 to $330,000, and Priest believes they will make the new commercial space ideal for incoming businesses.

"The commercial space, and also the whole strip in general, is great," Priest said. "You've got a lot within walking distance, so much stuff to do around there."

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