San Diego's vogue for converting yesteryear's structures into today's retail palaces continues. The latest incarnation: The Headquarters, Terramar Retail Centers' $40M renovation of the Old Police HQ next to Seaport Village. Terramar prez Steve Bowers spoke to a well-dressed crowd at an evening gala featuring The Temptations before the center opened to the public. (An Elvis impersonator doing Jailhouse Rock also would have been apropos.)
The complex of historic buildings was constructed in 1939 and served as the SDPD HQ until 1987. (The number of donuts that went through that building was astounding.) It housed a 274-bed jail, five courtrooms, an emergency hospital, indoor shooting range, law library, and automotive maintenance garage—the first police facility in the world to incorporate all police ops under one roof. A four-lane bowling alley used jail inmates as pinsetters. It's only the second police facility in California to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The open-air center features 100k SF of shops, dining, and entertainment. The Headquarters is at the forefront of a new retail trend: having restaurants, including fine dining spots, to anchor shopping centers. Think Puesto (above), Eddie V's, a premium aged steak and seahouse house, and the only San Diego branch of Pizzeria Mozza from celeb chefs Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton.