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Commercial Real Estate Alliance of San Diego's Deal Makers of the Year

Winner: Office sales/leases

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Russell Ingram, Kevin Shannon, Louay Alsadek, Evan August, Kraig Kristofferson, Stacy Meronoff and Andrew Taylor
CBRE
DiamondView Tower, 350 Tenth Ave., San Diego
15 stories, 305,255 square feet
Total Consideration: $121 million

About the property:
San Diego-based commercial real estate investor and developer Cruzan Monroe, along with Cigna Investments Inc., purchased DiamondView Tower in downtown San Diego from Wereldhave USA. Located at 350 Tenth Ave., the Class A office tower traded hands for a total consideration of $121 million — the largest single asset office transaction in San Diego for 2012. The CBRE investment sales team noted above handled the sale on behalf of Wereldhave USA. Mark McGovern, Scott Peterson and Jeff Rice of CBRE San Diego’s debt and equity finance group arranged both the equity and acquisition financing of approximately $86 million on behalf of the partnership between Cigna and Cruzan Monroe. The first Class A office tower to be developed as part of a major league ballpark in 2007, DiamondView Tower has a prominent location in San Diego’s East Village neighborhood just behind the right field fence of Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, with outstanding views of the field from every floor.

Closing the deal:
The lack of transaction activity the past couple years in downtown San Diego served as a challenge to the marketing of DiamondView Tower. Buyers and lenders were unable to reference any sale comp data points for trophy Class A office towers in the post-correction era to help justify their pricing. Also, because many institutional investors and lenders have not been active in the downtown San Diego market, CBRE had to conduct a more comprehensive market education effort. CBRE not only coordinated the largest downtown office sale of the year (based on price-per-square-foot) on behalf of the seller, but the firm also facilitated the equity and acquisition financing on behalf of the buyer.

DiamondView Tower traded hands from a publicly-traded international investment firm to a privately owned San Diego-based owner and operator. Returning DiamondView Tower to a local ownership entity is a true homecoming for the most iconic office building in downtown San Diego. Downtown San Diego’s office vacancy was 18.8 percent at the end of third quarter 2012; whereas, DiamondView Tower’s vacancy rate was 4 percent.

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