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Report: Fewer than 56 new condos available in downtown San Diego

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Five or fewer active new condominium developments in downtown San Diego have available units, and those are quickly becoming exhausted.

The Mark Co. reports there were only a total of 56 new condominiums in active developments downtown that hadn’t sold or weren’t under contract as of the time of its August survey — and there may be fewer now. This is a marked contrast from when thousands of units were available in the late 2000s.

Smart Corner, a joint effort of Lankford & Associates, Avion Development and the Canyon Johnson Urban Fund, saw 20 closings in July alone, according to The Mark Co. The 301 unit property at 1080 Park Blvd., like numerous other condominium developments, went to a rental program after the bottom fell out of the for sale market in the late 2000s. Now it is selling again.

Of the 301 units at Smart Corner, 239 had closed escrow, another 31 were under contract and 31 available. That development, The Mark Co. notes, has had units for sale for the past eight years. The current starting list prices range from about $159,000 for a studio-sized unit to about $249,000 for a two-bedroom condominium.

The developers are currently offering a 4.0 percent broker cooperation rate, as well as a $5,000 incentive and six months of paid homeowners association dues for buyers.

Smart Corner amenities include a 20th floor rooftop terrace with a large spa and barbeques, fully equipped fitness center, secured underground parking and dual-lobby entrances.

At the time of the survey in August, there was just one unit available at the 77-unit Solara Lofts development at 1551 Fourth Ave. that was priced at $509,000. A website for the property says the last unit has been sold.

With a sellout of Solara Lofts, it would seem that development of the 23-story adjacent condominium tower known as Solara Tower, would be a logical next step, but further details about that project weren’t immediately available. Calls to developer Skandia Construction yielded a disconnected number and directory assistance no longer carries the listing.

The timing of that next tower at Solara may be uncertain, but Vancouver developer Bosa Development, which has completely transformed San Diego’s skyline during the past two decades, is gearing up to develop a 41-story, 232-unit condominium tower at the southeast corner of Broadway and Pacific Highway. This is a property that was first considered for a condominium development and then an office tower. Now it has come full circle.

The Bosa project, whose name wasn’t immediately available, is expected to get under way around the middle of next year, with completion slated for 2016.

Plans call for 16,000 square feet of retail space on the first level, and 419 parking spaces in a three-level underground garage. Units will range from 956 to 2,083 square feet with one to three bedrooms, with the majority of units at 1,570 square feet and two bedrooms. Amenities include a fitness center, second-floor garden area, fourth-floor pool deck, and outdoor roof deck on 41st floor.

Meanwhile, only one penthouse was available at the time of The Mark Co.’s survey at Bosa’s Bayside at the Embarcadero. Located at 1325 Pacific Highway, the property has 232 total condominium units, of which 227 had closed escrow, four were under contract and one penthouse was available. The remaining penthouse was a 3,151-square-foot unit that was priced at $2,995,000.

Bayside includes Snaidero cabinetry, Viking and Miele stainless steel appliances, a third floor pool, extensive landscaping, a fitness center, game room and an area for private wine storage.

Breeza by Intergulf and Lennar Urban at 1431 Pacific Highway had a total of 155 units, of which 138 had closed escrow, one was under contract, and 16 were available. All of the remaining units are two-bedroom floor plans priced from $499,000. They have an average of 1,269 square feet.

Community amenities at Breeza include a private central courtyard with extensive landscaping and lap pool with Jacuzzi-style spa.

Breeza residents also have a fitness center, underground parking, secured access and a community room.

The developers at Breeza are offering a 3.0 percent broker cooperation rate, as well as 30-year financing at rates as low as 3.375 percent for qualified buyers. The development is FHA- and VA-approved.

Sapphire Tower at 1262 Kettner Blvd. has 97 units, of which seven (all penthouses) were remaining at the time of The Mark Co.’s survey.

The condominiums feature private balconies, European cabinetry, granite countertops and Dacor appliances.

The 19 penthouses in the plan feature private elevators, Wolf and SubZero appliances and wine storage area, are priced between $1,925,000 and $2.5 million, and feature 3,000 square feet of living space.

Built by Centurion Real Estate Partners and Avion Development, Sapphire’s amenities include a sundeck with pool and spa, fitness center with steam rooms, a clubroom, underground parking and an attended lobby.

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