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

Office sales/leases finalists

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Michael Hoeck, Richard Danesi and Scott Gamber (tenant representation); Eric Northbrook, Chris High (landlord)
CBRE; Cushman & Wakefield
12670 High Bluff Drive, Del Mar Heights
70,000-square-foot build-to-suit
Total consideration: Confidential

About the property:
Latham & Watkins entered into a 10-year build-to-suit lease agreement with TIAA-CREF for a 70,000-square-foot Class A office building that will be built in Del Mar Heights. An existing 69,836-square-foot building will be demolished to make way for the new project that is scheduled for completion in first quarter 2014. The project is the first existing suburban office building in San Diego to be demolished and replaced by new construction in more than 30 years. Latham & Watkins will consolidate its downtown office and current Del Mar Heights office into the new LEED Gold project to create a next-generation law firm environment. The project is owned by TIAA- CREF, while locally the San Diego-based firm Cruzan Monroe is acting as the fee developer and property manager for the new building.

Closing the deal:
Aided by the guidance of the CBRE team, Latham & Watkins conducted an extensive search process from downtown San Diego to North County for the most cost-effective and aesthetically fulfilling option. The search was hindered by the limited availability of suitable existing building options and finding a building with functional floor plates to satisfy Latham & Watkins’ evolving standards. Once the potential build-to-suit project was located and vetted, the opportunity’s benefits had to persuade a law firm that has been in downtown San Diego for nearly 30 years to move 15 miles north of the courthouse.

High Bluff Drive is known for having some of the oldest buildings in the Del Mar Heights submarket. The build-to-suit and renovation project will enhance the image of the immediate area and create a best-in-class environment out of an aging and dated project, which could encourage additional rehabilitation projects.

The landlord had recently purchased the site and just put its team in place. Cushman & Wakefield quickly identified Latham & Watkins as a prospect. In a short period of time with huge assistance by Cruzan Monroe, the team interviewed architects and allowed Latham &Watkins to sit in on that process. Ultimately, it came down to two architects, with Gensler Architects chosen. The site at 12670 High Bluff Drive was chosen because Latham & Watkins had confidence in this team and felt they would deliver a high quality building on time.

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