San Diego County is currently in a transitional phase with more than 3.8 million square feet of new office construction completed in 2007 and an additional 2.9 million square feet currently underway. Although lease rates have remained somewhat stable, occupancy costs have risen significantly due to the consolidation of ownership, resulting in increased operating expense passthroughs. Still, downtown San Diego's strong local economy and high quality of life continue to make it a desirable location for business owners.
A major new office development offering small and medium-sized entrepreneurs the opportunity to own office space in the Upper East Village of downtown San Diego is nearing completion. San Diego-based Sand and Sea Equity Group's Nine 2 Five Place is a uniquely designed project located at 925 B St. in San Diego, immediately south of the ramps to I-5 and Highway 163 and at the gateway to downtown.
The Class A office and retail condominiums range in size from 897 to 39,465 square feet and are available for sale and lease. Nine 2 Five Place offers full floors comprising approximately 13,000 rentable square feet, fantastic views and the potential for highly visible, building-top signage.
The many advantages of owning office space rather than leasing have led to a demand for office condos in downtown San Diego. Today's savvy tenant understands the value of not only historically high appreciation of San Diego real estate, but also the great significance of fixing one's occupancy costs, no longer being at the whim of an institutional landlord relative to increases that quickly alter a firm's bottom line.
The renovation and design of Nine 2 Five Place focuses on the modernization of the Chicago Title building, a downtown site familiar to most San Diegans. Augustine Design Group teamed up with Nogle Onufer Associate Architects and Schmidt Design Group on the exterior renovation, including new façade elements, contemporary artwork, exterior lighting, site work and landscape, to modernize the building while maintaining its original architectural elements.
Amenities at Nine 2 Five Place include a fitness center, modern design and stylish lobbies and interior hallways. Nine 2 Five Place offers retail and business clients a chance to earn equity through the purchase of office space in lively downtown San Diego. Each suite includes ample covered parking, University Club memberships and high-speed data lines.
Downtown San Diego's urban environment continues to increase the value of living and working downtown. The appreciation of real estate in San Diego during the past 10 years can be partially credited to the true live, work, play set up of downtown, in addition to the notably vibrant metropolitan energy that the city has so carefully crafted and continues to grow exponentially. Regardless of the current state of the economy, with the combination of this urban gentrification and the eventual and certain recovery of the proverbial real estate cycle, the ownership of San Diego real estate is a prudent decision.
Boland and Salgado are vice presidents of Voit Commercial Brokerage's San Diego office.