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New Commercial Development (Finally) on the Horizon in Downtown

Architect’s rendering of Manchester Pacific Gateway, courtesy of Gensler.

By Jason Hughes

With new office development and re-development popping up in nearly every submarket except for Downtown — Make in Carlsbad (redevelopment), One La Jolla Center in UTC (new development), the new buildings at Torrey Reserve in Del Mar Heights, etc. — Downtown is finally getting the attention it deserves with new development coming down the pipe.

Manchester-Pacific-Gateway-rendering-san-diego
When complete, Manchester Pacific Gateway will house hotels, retail, and some of the most desirable office space in the city.

Manchester Financial Group is starting to make headway on the Pacific Gateway development. After reaching a soon-to-be formalized settlement with the California Coastal Commission (and a forthcoming final court hearing on the NEPA lawsuit), Manchester plans to develop the entire site between Pacific Highway, Broadway, and Harbor Drive into hotels, offices, and high-end retail.

Better yet? Manchester is now planning on building the entire project all at once rather than in phases over a 10-year period. The office towers are going to have the best water views in the city (maybe the entire west coast). New renderings reveal a modified design that allows for even more office floors to have unobstructed views than previously envisioned, which will be forever unobstructed.

Cisterra-Seventh-and-Market-san-diego-ritz-carlton
Cisterra’s project at 7th and Market looks to be a showstopper.

Cisterra was just awarded the 7th and Market site adjacent to SEMPRA’s new headquarters, and the building will be nothing short of top-notch. With a two-story Whole Foods, a 160 room Ritz Carlton hotel (the first five-star hotel in Downtown), 58 Ritz Carlton Residence Club condominiums (57 after I buy mine), 147 apartments, and 150,000 square feet of high-end office, this development is going to give DiamondView a run for its money as being the top building in East Village.

In less glamorous news, 101 Ash Street is officially available – and 92% vacant – as SEMPRA completed its move to its new building two weeks ago. Shapery Enterprises just partnered with Manchester, who bought a 49% interest, and they are now working to find a new tenant – even considering turning it into an assisted living center. The building would be 100% vacant – except that Manchester moved in last weekend and took over the 18th floor (top floor) – and Shapery Enterprises has the 17th floor.

Several small office properties are also being snatched up by residential developers – including 1510 Front Street and 520 West Ash in Little Italy – which are both slated for residential use.

We still have months if not years to wait before these new developments come to fruition, but for those companies looking for the best space in the county, stay tuned!

Jason Hughes is chairman, CEO, and owner of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company with offices across the nation. A pioneer in the field of tenant representation, Jason has exclusively represented tenants and buyers for more than 25 years. He writes about topics in commercial real estate from a tenant’s perspective on his blog, Downtown Dirt. Contact Jason at 1-844-662-6635 or jason@hughesmarino.com to learn more.



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