Fast Facts Friday: 1/18/2019

Downtown San Diego’s Tallest High-Rise


By: Blake Sonuga 
January 18, 2019, 4:19 am. PST.

JAHN Architects

Located at 600 W. Broadway Street is downtown San Diego’s tallest building, One America Plaza (OAP). Designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn Architects, OAP stands 500 ft tall, with 34 floors and 625,000 SF of commercial office space. The main contractor responsible for developing OAP was Shimizu Corporation who completed construction in November 1991.

Why does OAP hold the tallest building title in San Diego?

In 1987, prior to construction of major high-rises in downtown San Diego, the federal aviation administration (FAA), through a city of San Diego land use ordinance presented an advisory circular (AC 150/5190-4A). 

The FAA’s advisory circular established a “minimum clear space” requirement, creating the city of San Diego’s land use ordinance which restricts height of objects, such as buildings, in a 1.5 mile radius of San Diego international airport to 500 ft.

OAP was built to the exact height limit restriction imposed by the ordinance, and when the 500 ft high-rise was completed in November 1991, it took the title of San Diego’s tallest building from Symphony Towers, a 499 ft tall high-rise which held the tallest building title from 1989-1991.

With this restriction unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, OAP will likely remain the tallest building in downtown San Diego for a long time. That is, unless a developer is successful in obtaining a variance and presenting a compelling argument to allow thier new high rise to be built above the 500 ft mark.

Current profile

Ownership of OAP has changed hands a few times since its completion in 1991. The Irvine company, OAPs current owner and landlord purchased the high rise for $300M in 2006. For the 2018 tax year, the county of San Diego assessed OAP’s value at $206M with a tax levy of $2,480,846.70 

MTS currently runs the blue and silver lines of the San Diego trolley at the ground level of the building. Some current tenants in the building include: UBS Financial, Allianz Capital, and Allen, Matkins, Leck Gamble & Mallory LLP

Source: The Irvine Company.

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Park and Market

By: Blake Sonuga
January 3, 2019, 11:00pm PST.

Development Profile:
Project name: Park and Market
Project address:  601 11th Avenue (Tower)
660 Park Boulevard (Office low-rise)

Owner/Developer: Holland Partner Group
Downtown neighborhood: East Village
Market: Mixed-use development (Multifamily residential and commercial)

Building specifications and figures:
Current status: Under Construction.
34 story high-rise. (370 ft.)
426 residential units. (85 affordable rental units)
5600 sq ft. amenity space, green space, swimming pool.
8500 sq ft. movie courtyard, linear amphitheater, and outdoor venue space.
14,600 sq. ft. of street-level commercial space.
LEED certification: Pending.

Project financing structure
$277 MM
total cost to develop.
Capital source for construction:
Tax-exempt bonds: $216,500,000|78%
NASH/Holland equity: $60,950,000|22%
Capital source upon completion:
Tax-exempt bonds: $216,500,000|78%
Low income housing credits: $16,794,000|6.1%
Sales proceeds from office space $37,359,000|13.5%
NASH/Holland equity: $6,797,000|2.4%

Economic Impact:
Approximately 600 construction jobs and 185 permanent jobs created.
Downtown public facilities financing plan: $4,000,000 development impact fees. Funding share for new parks, fire station, and traffic circulation improvement in Downtown.
Annual gross property and sales tax generation of $550,000