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Close-up: Garth Erdossy

GLJ president knows to expect the unexpected in real estate

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With more than 25 years of experience in real estate, development and construction, GLJ Partners President Garth Erdossy knows nothing worth fighting for comes easy.

“There is no such thing as a typical day,” Erdossy said. “I am involved in the complete building process of everything we do, from the purchasing of a landsite to negotiating with architects, looking at interior design, working with banks and pitching an investor. I am there from start to finish.”

Since the partnership began in 2007, GLJ Partners has focused largely on building multifamily housing in California. The company is currently invested in several projects totaling more than $400 million.

In March of 2013, GLJ Partners will complete the construction of a 236,000-square-foot, 244 unit residential luxury style condos, in Marina Del Rey. Stella — the name of the multifamily housing unit — will be complete with resort-style amenities that include a pool and spa with mini beach, state-of–the-art fitness facility and a 30-seat movie theater with resident lounge.

Garth Erdossy

“This was a huge project for us, because it was one of the first major residential projects that I’ve broke ground on since the start of the recession,” he said.

The site also has an additional 9,000-square feet of retail space. GLJ Partners are finalizing the deal for an onsite Fed-Ex Office and are in negotiations to open a restaurant.

GLJ Partners is also working with a local architectural firm, Jonathan Segal, and the Fat family — heirs of renowned restaurateur and prominent San Diegan, Tom Fat — in developing 232 residential harbor view lofts in Little Italy.

The project known as Fat City Lofts bears the Fat surname to honor his memory, and continue his vision of using design to signify the gateway between Little Italy and North Embarcadero.

“The only thing stopping us from continuing with the project is Solar Tubines,” Erdossy said. “Don’t get me wrong, I think they are a great company. I just don’t know why they are making such a big deal about us moving in.”

The 1.52-acres zoned for mixed-use is waiting to receive approval by the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) committee this month before construction begins, according to Erdossy.

“There’s already residential buildings in the area and the site has been zoned for allowed residential development since 1992,” he said. “There’s no disagreement about the positive direction of the project for the city. I believe we can coexist.”

The project will create 350 to 450 new jobs over the next two-and-half years, Erdossy said.

New developments have revitalized downtown San Diego over the last decade, and because of the recent improvements there have been an influx of small businesses and homeowners in the area.

“I was a residential partner with JMI Realty and did a lot of work in East Village when the ballpark was being built. I saw first hand the transformative and catalytic development, and how it led to smarter urban growth over the years,” he said.

Aside from securing the projects and overseeing developments, Erdossy is an active member of the Urban Land Institute (Multifamily Gold Council) and National Multi-Housing Council.

He recently teamed up with his wife Karin to support the local chapter of the National Charity League and helped build a large kitchen garden for the Family Recovery Center in Oceanside, which provides support for women and children.

“These young mothers weren’t getting enough fresh fruits and vegetables and ate a lot of canned goods,” Erdossy said. “I’m very proud of my wife and her involvement with the National Charity League. It was really rewarding to be a part of this project and see how my wife is helping young mothers get back on their feet.”

Erdossy also works with another charity for a cause that has hit closer to home – he recently discovered his nephew, Colby, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

“Because of my nephew Colby, I’ve been active in raising money for diabetes,” Erdossy said. “Being a father of four children myself, this was a real eye-opener for me.”

Edrossy took place in the Ride to Cure Diabetes last year where he earned nearly $10,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

“I am planning on doing another ride later this year. My goal is to work hard to surpass last year's earnings,” he said.


-Patruno is a San Diego-based freelance writer.

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