Article Via: Costar, Lou Hirsh | October 29, 2019
G.H. Palmer Associates, a prominent apartment developer in downtown Los Angeles, has paid approximately $48.6 million for 22 acres of San Diego land where it plans a mixed-use apartment project, the latest indicator of high demand in and near the city’s busy Mission Valley neighborhood.
The company, based in Beverly Hills, California, acquired four parcels at 6910 Mission Gorge Road, in the city’s Mission Gorge neighborhood, from a private seller under the name Shawnee Properties of Ramona, California, according to CoStar and broker data. The parcels are entitled for a total of 996 residential units, 37,500 square feet of commercial space and approximately 5.3 acres of neighborhood parks under prior land owners, according to brokerage firms Cushman & Wakefield and Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty.
Officials at Pacific Sotheby’s, which represented the seller, said the buyer plans to begin grading and other land development work at the site in May next year, with vertical construction scheduled to begin in March 2021 and completion of the apartments expected in summer 2023.
Mission Gorge is located adjacent and to the east of San Diego’s Mission Valley, which has several major commercial developments in the works, including a mixed-use western campus being planned by San Diego State University on a former NFL stadium site, and a $2 billion mixed-use redevelopment of the Riverwalk golf course spearheaded by developer Hines.
Mission Valley is among San Diego’s most attractive areas for developers and investors, thanks largely to the five major freeways that pass through it and an expanding employment base. Two of the San Diego region’s largest retail malls, Westfield Mission Valley and Simon Property Group's Fashion Valley, are located within a mile of each other in the neighborhood.
"Mission Valley is experiencing a renaissance of development in the current cycle," Pacific Sotheby’s broker Mark Marquez said in a statement. "Residential developers have led the path back into Mission Valley, with office developers watching the type of residents in the area who may also want to work nearby."
In a statement from Cushman & Wakefield, which also represented the seller, G.H. Palmer Associates Chief Investment Officer Steven Fink said the developer has "long awaited the right opportunity to develop in San Diego," citing the development site’s close proximity to employment hubs, shopping and public transportation within Mission Valley.
Cushman & Wakefield broker Kevin Nolen said the Mission Gorge transaction was "extremely complicated," noting various infrastructure-related agreements had to be secured with a half-dozen neighboring owners after the property initially received entitlements in 2012.
G.H. Palmer is led by billionaire Geoff Palmer, a significant donor to Republican political campaigns who hosted a fundraiser for President Donald Trump last month in his Beverly Hills home. The company has been a significant force in apartment construction as part of the revival of downtown Los Angeles, where it has completed thousands of units in multifamily complexes including the Italian-inspired Medici and Orsini.
For the Record
The buyer in the Mission Gorge property sale represented itself.
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