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$250M High-Rises Coming to Downtown, Roppongi Closes in La Jolla

This week's local real estate news


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Broadway Block is bringing more luxury high rises to downtown. | Image courtesy of Joseph Wong Design Associates

Word on the Street

Luxury high-rise breaking ground on Broadway

A blighted downtown block is about to get a major makeover, and we’re excited, since this is happening right in San Diego Magazine’s neighborhood.

Zephyr Partners is getting ready to break ground on Broadway Block, a development of two high-rise residential towers that will take up the entire block between Broadway and C Street, and Seventh and Eighth avenues.

The main tower will be 41 stories high, the second 21 stories. The towers will house 498 residential units and sit atop a six-story podium. Designed by locally based Joseph Wong Design Associates, the property will have a 25,000-square-foot “sky garden” on the seventh floor, and a common deck on the 30th floor. Lots of new retail space—19,000 square feet of it—and 960 underground parking spaces are also in the works.

The estimated cost of the project is a cool $250 million.

“The site spans a full city block, and is one of the few remaining underdeveloped areas in downtown’s core,” Brad Termini, Zephyr CEO, said in a statement. “After studying the layout of other major urban areas such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, we think this project will accelerate the transformation of downtown San Diego, as it continues to evolve into a more walkable and accessible neighborhood.”

Termini said the block had fallen into disrepair. Many of the existing buildings and retail spaces—which were built in the 1950s—are vacant, like the former Super Discount & Food on Broadway and Seventh.

Termini didn’t give a specific date for the groundbreaking, only saying that he’s “excited to get the project started as soon as possible.”

What shops and restaurants would you like to see move into Broadway Block? Tell us in the comments!

 

La Jolla says goodbye to Roppongi

Roppongi restaurant

Roppongi, an Asian-fusion and sushi restaurant that had been on Prospect Street for 17 years, closed earlier this week without notice.

Owner Sam Ladeki, who is also head of local chain Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, told Eater business was dwindling and that he may reopen the restaurant in a new location.

Ladeki said the restaurant climate in La Jolla is changing. Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria and Bijou French Bistro, also located on Prospect Street, closed earlier this year. Meanwhile, newcomers Catania and Galaxy Taco are thriving in the neighborhood, and there’s been a lot of buzz on the opening of Duke’s La Jolla.

Is the southern stretch of Prospect Street just a tough spot for restaurants?

“As a general rule, restaurants on Prospect Street without a view of the ocean have always seen significantly lower sales volumes than their neighbors with views of the water,” says Mike Spilky, president of real estate firm Location Matters.

“The recent restaurant closures have all been from uninspiring or old, stale restaurant brands,” Spilky says. “Going up against the challenges of parking and a stigma locals have for Prospect Street, a restaurant must really have a special offering to draw the local crowd to this area.”

Spilky is also the leasing agent for 909 Prospect, a property that has had its share of struggles with restaurant tenants ever since the Hard Rock Café closed. A new landlord is looking to divide the Hard Rock’s former space—which is 8,000 square feet—into three separate areas and plans to modernize the building.

 

Proposed Little Italy restaurant in limbo

There’s controversy surrounding CH Projects’ newest Little Italy venture, and this time it has nothing to do with the company’s refusal to serve vodka or ketchup at any of its bars and restaurants.

CH Projects wants to spend $2.5 million to transform the old Nelson Photo Supplies building on the corner of Fir and India streets into a two-story restaurant with rooftop seating, calling the project its most ambitious restaurant to date. The San Diego Regional Airport Authority reviewed the plans and initially said no. What seemed like a straightforward land-use issue then became complicated, as two local politicians got involved in petitioning for and against the restaurant’s development.

 

News Bites

What to do with Harbor Island?

The Port of San Diego is asking for ideas on how to transform Harbor Island. The agency formally issued a request for proposals from developers regarding what it should do with 57 acres on the island’s eastern portion.

In August, the California Coastal Commission had rejected Sunroad Enterprises’ plan to build a hotel in the area because of a mandate that requires affordable lodging along the waterfront.

Do you think Harbor Island should be redeveloped? Tell us in the comments!

 

Calling all artists

The City of San Diego want its new fire station in north University City to be adorned with public art, and has put out a request for artists to apply for the project. 

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San Diego real estate news and gossip, from businesses opening and closing around town, to the neighborhoods that are buzzing with construction and which homes and buildings are being sold and where. Parklets, placemaking, lofts, design, cool workspaces, cool living spaces, big buildings, and tiny homes are things we find fascinating, especially right now in San Diego. The cranes are back in the downtown skyline, and so are many of our sources in the real estate industry, so you might see a heavy bent towards the urban neighborhoods here. But we see you up there, Torrey Pines Mesa. We know about your new companies, institutes, and hidden foodtrucks in office parks and cool cafes on the bluffs. And Del Mar and Carlsbad and everywhere in between. If you see a “For Sale” sign or a “coming soon” sign that we should know about, or just have a question about a building or a place, send an email our way.

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