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Downtown San Diego’s 7th & Market Project Wins Approval


Cisterra Development’s 7th & Market project—the largest, most dense and costliest mixed-use project in San Diego County—won the city council’s approval Tuesday. The 39-story, $400M project combines a mix of residential, retail, office, hotel and public uses. It includes the city’s first five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel, which will include 160 rooms and 58 Ritz-Carlton-branded condominiums, and a 40k SF Whole Foods market, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Cisterra signed a labor agreement that ensures hiring of union workers for construction, but approval of the East Village project was held up for nearly two months due to opposition by Unite Here Local 30, the hotel workers union, and the call for a new agreement with Civic San Diego that provides rules to improve transparency and oversight of the downtown planning agency. The city council also approved the Civic SD Operating and Agency Agreement on Tuesday.

The hotel workers union had hoped to negotiate a card-check neutrality agreement with Marriott, which owns the Ritz-Carlton brand, to not oppose unionization. Instead, the hotel has committed to paying a living wage to all non-tip-earning employees. The project may still hit a snag, as Unite Here may file a lawsuit challenging the environmental impact report.

Designed by Carrier Johnson + Culture architects, the residential tower, which has 115 market-rate apartments and 32 affordable units, includes a rooftop terrace. The project, which occupies a full city block, also includes 156k SF of Class-A office space; a restaurant and street-level retail; 6k SF of public open space, including a public plaza with a public art space at the corner of 8th and Island avenues; 238 public parking spaces; and 673 subterranean parking stalls for residents and hotel guests. The residential and office components are in separate towers that will connect on the first level with the hotel and condos above.

The site also includes The Clermont, a historical hotel built in 1887 as the Occidental Hotel and now a single resident occupancy rental. Cisterra plans to invest about $1M in renovations and continue to operate the building. The project’s contemporary design was influenced by the existing historical building and a desire to maximize views into Petco Park and the surrounding vistas.

Locally based Cisterra plans to break ground next year after concluding acquisition of the land, which is owned by the city, with completion in October 2021. This $20M land sale must be finalized by April 2018 or it reverts back to the city. The project is expected to generate $1.5M in sales, hotel and property taxes for the city annually. [SDUT