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The Irvine Company Purchases Site for Office Tower in Downtown San Diego

he Irvine Company announced today that it has purchased from Bosa Development an impressive bay view site adjacent to the Santa Fe depot in downtown San Diego where it plans to build an office tower.

“We intend to construct a high-quality, classic and distinctive high-rise that will be a beautiful addition to the city’s downtown skyline, and to its continued economic resurgence,” said Charles Black, senior vice president, San Diego region, for The Irvine Company Office Properties. “It represents a significant investment and vote of confidence in downtown, which we believe is becoming one of the pre-eminent office markets in the nation. It also will help ensure a healthy balance of uses downtown, where residential construction has outpaced commercial development in recent years.”

The Irvine Company and Bosa completed the deal for the site, which is located at the northeast corner of Broadway and Pacific Highway, earlier this month. Construction could begin as early as mid 2008, and could take approximately two-and-a-half years. The price was not disclosed.

The company plans to hire an internationally respected architect to design a class A high rise office tower that will add to the beauty and drama of the San Diego skyline. With that in mind, the company intends to embrace a design that is both classic and timeless.

“We feel fortunate to be in a position to purchase this exceptional site and look forward to adding a new building to the San Diego skyline,” Black said. “This is one of the most desirable markets in the nation. We cannot think of a better way to demonstrate our confidence than to make this investment. We believe our building will make downtown San Diego even more spectacular.”

In the coming months, the company will work through the Centre City Development Corporation’s design review process.

The size of the building has not been determined, but the site is covered by a development agreement that allows for a building to reach a maximum height of 480 feet.

“The Irvine Company is deeply committed to investing in buildings of the very highest quality, down to the smallest details, and to holding onto them for decades, if not generations,” Black said. “This makes us unique in the real estate industry, and positions us to build a high-rise that is truly worthy of the setting.”

City plans have anticipated an office tower at the site for years. The necessary entitlements were obtained by Catellus Development, the owner prior to Bosa.

Bosa Development has played a key role in the renewal of downtown San Diego. Since 1998, the company has developed six residential high-rises, and has three more under construction – the Elektra and the Legend, which are scheduled for completion this year, and Bosa’s flagship project, Bayside at the Embarcadero. Downtown San Diego also has experienced a retail and cultural rebirth, with a wealth of new shopping and dining options, and the opening of world-class attractions like Petco Park. Office development, meanwhile, has lagged. As a result, the construction of new office space has emerged as a priority for both CCDC and the city of San Diego.

More than two decades after making its first acquisition in San Diego, The Irvine Company now owns six apartment communities and some of downtown San Diego’s premier high-rise office buildings, including One America Plaza, Symphony Towers, Wells Fargo Plaza, 225 Broadway, 101 West Broadway and 501 West Broadway. It also owns high-rise and campus-style office properties in the La Jolla and Sorrento Mesa areas.

The Irvine Company is one of the nation’s largest and most successful community master planners and real estate investment companies. Incorporated more than a century ago, the privately held company is known internationally for the balanced master planned communities it continues to create on The Irvine Ranch in central Orange County. The company also is known for its portfolio of high-quality, high-profile investment properties – which include major office buildings, hotels, apartment communities, marinas and retail centers – in San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties, and Northern California.