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Downtown National City taking shape as Centro condos near completion

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While other downtowns struggle with stalled projects, National City's is transforming into a vibrant downtown with the near-completion of Centro Condos, developed by Constellation Property Group.

Centro is an ultra-contemporary, four-story building containing 61 modern two- and three-bedroom residential condos and is designed by award winning-Australian architects Marchese Partners International. It is the first phase of a three-phase development that covers approximately 100,000 square feet of land in the heart of National City's new downtown.

Centro is an innovative solution to today's difficult real estate conditions. Constellation's Development Director, Wayne Hann, said, "We worked very closely with the city, the architects, our GC and our construction lender, United Commercial Bank, to come up with a solution that would give us as much flexibility as possible."

Centro is the first phase of a mixed-use development that will also include a boutique hotel, retail and commercial office suites.

"Centro is designed and being constructed as a residential condominium building; however, we have built in the ability to manage this building for corporate housing or serviced apartments until the residential condo market has stabilized. The building meets zoning and code as both residential and hotel uses," Hann added.

Constellation Property Group is also working with the National City and UCB to launch the next two phases of the project.

"I think there will be heads turning to downtown National City when we unveil our plans for the balance of the project," Hann said. Phases 2 and 3 represent leading urban development that will provide much needed facilities and future contemporary housing for South County and San Diego.

Centro is the first phase of Constellation's Revolution mixed-use development, which will include a destination boutique hotel, entertainment and retail spaces, commercial office suites in addition to the residential condominiums. The residential component of the development will include both "for sale" condominiums and apartment rentals with an affordable housing component.

"The Centro project is a prime example of the type of development we need for Downtown National City," said Mayor Ron Morrison. "These permanent residents will help stabilize the area, pushing for more public projects and interests, and will significantly increase the activity level of downtown National City, making it a destination for the South Bay."

Although National City seems to be the next area of San Diego due for urban infill and revitalization, some question the developers' timing due to the downturn in the real estate market.

"Centro is an exciting project that has had to face many financing challenges due to the current credit environment", said Eugene Marchese, president and founder of Constellation Property Group. "United Commercial Bank is a great supporter of Constellation and National City, and their ongoing support makes projects like this possible. They have a hard-working and intelligent team that values its relationships with entrepreneurial companies and can see the vision for this great lifestyle project in National City."

Centro offers two- and three-bedroom units styled with premium fixtures and fittings, stainless steel European appliances, stone floors and counter tops, and recessed lighting.

Units are influenced by contemporary Australian architecture and include expansive glazed windows that provide bright light through the front and back of each residence. All units are cross-ventilated, offering an innovative green solution to cooling and heating the space throughout the year. Each residence has extremely efficient floor layouts that maximize living space, with gourmet kitchens, expansive balconies, landscaped courtyards and a rooftop garden.

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