Exclusive Q&A With Nat Bosa, Downtown San Diego’s Luxury Condo Developer
Vancouver, Canada-based Bosa Development was a pioneer in Downtown San Diego’s transformation, beginning work here in the 1990s. To date, the company has completed seven condo projects in Downtown. Number eight is Pacific Gate (christened in a contest last year), which is in pre-sales mode with occupancy beginning in late 2017. Another eight residential projects are planned over the next decade.
We caught up with firm president Nat Bosa (snapped here with a model of Pacific Gate) to ask about his latest project. The ultra-luxury, 41-story Pacific Gate tower will be the tallest building in Downtown San Diego. He talked about demand for very high-end condominiums in Downtown and his 20-year relationship with the Downtown market.
Located in the East Village neighborhood on the corner of Broadway and Pacific overlooking Downtown's North Embarcadero, Pacific Gate includes 217 condos priced at $1.4M and up and 16k SF of retail on the ground floor.
Bisnow: What attracted you to San Diego — how did you end up there so early in Downtown San Diego’s redevelopment process?
Nat Bosa: I started visiting San Diego with my family in the late 1970s and fell in love with the area in the next decade, after Horton Plaza was built. My instincts told me there was fantastic potential to revitalize the downtown core. I want to do my utmost to elevate San Diego to a world-class city, and it is well on its way.
San Diego is my adopted city. I am passionate about it and have focused most of my energies on this city. When we entered the Downtown San Diego market nearly 20 years ago, buildings were considered “design-forward.” Now, we’re making a bold statement about the next generation of downtown’s growth by literally changing the skyline with Pacific Gate’s iconic architecture (below is the ground-level retail envisioned for Pacific Gate).
Bisnow: During the last development cycle, lots of condos were built in downtown that ended up being rented when the economy took a dive in 2008. Since the economy turned around, developers have been building lots of apartments, but not condos. Do you think the Downtown market is ready for for-sale housing again?
Nat Bosa: We are glad to see the residential real estate market’s reawakening. We are witness to and part of what the Wall Street Journal reported recently—that downtown San Diego’s revitalization is higher-end.
We think this is happening for several reasons. The science and tech sectors are booming and many companies are relocating to where the talent is—that’s Downtown San Diego. We are also seeing Baby Boomers who are looking to simplify their lives, and Millennials who want a live/work/play lifestyle.
Combine that with growing public transportation and rideshare systems; the ability to walk, bike or trolley to popular places; and more upmarket lifestyle offerings, and you have the perfect combination for what makes a "superstar" city successful.
Downtown San Diego is ready for its next evolution. There are at least half a dozen residential projects in the works now in Downtown and more in the pipeline.
Bisnow: Several developers, who contend there is very high market demand for multifamily housing with five-star hotel services, are building very high-end condos and apartments that provide such services. Pacific Gate condos start at $1.4M and go up from there. What features, amenities and services can buyers expect at Pacific Gate?
Nat Bosa: We are not surprised research from the Downtown San Diego Partnership predicted the city will grow by 1 million residents over the next 30 years. As Downtown San Diego’s employment growth continues to expand, the expectation for innovative living spaces that are high-quality and design-forward, with superior services and amenities, will also grow.
We were purposeful in offering residents an experience more like a five-star resort. Pacific Gate will be the most luxurious residential offering in Downtown. Services and amenities we will provide our residents include a two-story residents’ lounge (pictured) with a full kitchen, which is perfect for social gatherings of friends and family. Because urban residents live, work and play in one location, a screening room, conference room and business center will be on site, allowing residents to conduct business outside of their residence.
The building will feature a fitness center, pool, spa, steam sauna and pool terrace, poolside cabanas with plenty of private nooks. An outdoor pet retreat will allow residents to relax in an amazing setting, surrounded by ocean breezes and the vibrancy of downtown right at their doorstep.
I believe what will really set us apart, however, is our service. It will be professional, courteous, anticipatory and available 24/7 but never in an intrusive way. Our Chef and Concierge Services can arrange private dinners and help residents experience the best the city has to offer. We will have a 24-hour attended lobby and porter services to greet and help residents as they depart and arrive.
Because living downtown means you don’t have to own a car, we are offering a private luxury car fleet for those occasions when residents need to go outside the downtown core or attend an event that requires a car. We think our private boat-share program is a great service, allowing residents, their friends and family to share the beauty of a sunset, or an ocean-side view of the city’s spectacular skyline.
Bisnow: Does Pacific Gate include penthouse units?
Nat Bosa: We are introducing “Super Prime Living" to Downtown San Diego at Pacific Gate. This is where beauty, culture and authenticity come together with a thriving business center. Super Prime residential real estate is located in prestigious neighborhoods and features breathtaking views, iconic architecture, exquisite interior design and exceptional amenities.
Pacific Gate will provide two- and three-bedroom residences, and each residence will offer a different view, depending on the vantage point of the residence. Each unit is a unique design, with custom features and finishes equal to penthouse standards.
The Estate Collection (pictured) is on the highest floors, where there are larger floor plans and fewer homes per floor. Our two-bedroom units are priced from $1.4M and three-bedroom residences are priced from $2.9M.
Every residence features expansive windows that bring the outdoors inside. Award-winning LA-based designer Hirsch Bedner Associates, which is renowned for its work with some of the most respected hotel groups in the world, is leading Pacific Gate’s interior design. The firm worked with us on this project, applying design expertise not usually found in a residential setting.
We are using the finest finishes available and offering state-of-the-art appliances and fittings from high-end brands—Wolf, Sub-Zero, Miele and Graff fixtures throughout. Our master baths will feature thoughtful and luxurious appointments, from heated polished stone floors to ceiling-mounted rain shower heads to electric mirrors with a defogger and a 10-inch television.
Bisnow: What about the project’s sustainability? Is this project targeting LEED? What types of green features are being incorporated into the project?
Nat Bosa: We are not targeting LEED certification, but we have an array of quality materials, including some that are sustainable. We also offer charging stations for electric vehicles.
Bisnow: Do you have retail tenants already signed up, or what types of tenants are you planning to put in there?
Nat Bosa: Our goal with the retail space is to provide services for this amazing community on the verge of change. The location of the space on the ground floor of the building will be part of the fabric of Pacific and Broadway, the new Gateway to Downtown.