Downtown San Diego Condo Construction

Posted on February 14, 2011 | by Denny Oh

Currently, there are no residential condos being built in downtown San Diego.  Zero.  This means that at best, you could move into a brand new condo in about 2-2.5 years – so summer of 2013.  My guess is that you probably won’t see any new condos until about 2014 or even 2015.  And even then, you probably won’t see a flood of new condos – maybe just one or two new buildings.

The front runner for the next new building has to be a Bosa Development building. Bosa Development still owns several parcels of land in downtown San Diego, but their next project will either be at their First and Island location, or at Kettner and Ash.

Screen shot 2011-01-20 at 2.04.44 PMThe First and Island location is the last undeveloped lot in San Diego’s Marina District.  Nestled between the Harbor Club condo towers and Bosa’s first local building, Horizons, the unnamed First and Island building is supposed to be a 38 story, 172 unit highrise.  The highrise was designed by James KM Cheng Architects, which is a Canadian based firm, which I don’t believe has designed anything else in San Diego.

As you can imagine, Bosa should be able to demand some hefty prices for these condos…just as long as they don’t completely blow it.  The First and Ash building will be a welcome addition to the Marina District, presumably, joining the Harbor Club and Pinnacle Museum Tower as some of the most expensive real estate in downtown San Diego.

First and Island will undoubtedly focus on having fewer, but larger, high-end condos(only 2 and 3 bedrooms condos).  I would expect to see top of the line appliances, larger bedrooms, walk-in closets, large bathtubs, wine coolers, laundry rooms and much more (keep in mind, this is solely based on what I think should/will be in the building – not what Bosa, or anyone has told me).  This condo building will have 22,400 sqft of commercial space as well – something Bosa has not done here in San Diego.  Another key feature of this building, appears to be ample parking space – the proposed specs call for 435 parking spaces for only 172 condos.  Either this means there will be at least 1 parking spot per bedroom, or there may be guest parking, or maybe they’re just providing parking for the commercial spaces…I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Screen shot 2011-01-25 at 11.35.52 AMThe other next likely Bosa build, is the lot located on Kettner and Ash in the Columbia District.  I personally think this is what Bosa will build next, probably starting construction next year…maybe summer of 2012?  This location is far less developed than the Marina District, but I think we’re going to see a lot of appreciation here over the next 10-15 years.  Downtown San Diego prices are still low(relative to other downtown cities) because we don’t have a large business sector down here.  And with all the proposed commercial space that will be built in that Columbia District, I think we’ll begin to see more and more people move downtown.  Eventually, morning traffic will flow south into the city in the and less towards the Golden Triangle.

Bosa Development’s Kettner and Ash building is just north of Sapphire Tower and east of the Bayside at the Embarcadero building.  This will be a 35 story, 287 unit highrise, also with some commercial space on the ground floor.  However, unlike the First and Island building, Kettner and Ash will have a mix of studios, one, two and three bedroom condos.

Kettner and Ash will be designed by Hossein Amanat, ARC Design Group.  Based on their website, ARC seems to focus on non-residential design, so it will be interesting to see how the adapt to highrise condo development.  I was very impressed by their past residential projects though, even though they only showcased a few…none of which were highrises.

Regardless of what is built next, we do know that we don’t have any new inventory for a few years.  And with Bayside, Sapphire Tower, The Mark and many other buildings almost completely sold out, we may slowly begin to see prices rise.  We’ll have to wait and see how interest rates and lending change as well.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling real estate in San Diego, I’d love to help.  Denny Oh 858-243-2092 [email protected]

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