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Kearny Real Estate Pays Nearly $92M For San Diego’s Iconic Emerald Plaza

Emerald Plaza

A JV of Los Angeles-based Kearny Real Estate Co and PCCP has acquired the 30-story Emerald Plaza in Downtown San Diego from Deutsche Bank for $91.7M. At 402 West Broadway, Emerald Plaza is San Diego’s first mixed-use development, with a combination of 364k SF of office space and a four-star, 436-room hotel operated by Westin Hotels & Resorts. One of the city’s most iconic buildings, it was built by local developer and entrepreneur Sandy Sharpery at a cost of $150M and occupies a full city block. Deutsche Bank had owned this project since 2005.

Designed by locally based W. Kim Architects & Planners, Emerald Plaza’s office complex is characterized by its distinctive hexagonal towers that range from 20 to 30 stories, making it one of the tallest buildings in Downtown. In the evening, the angled rooftops of the office buildings and hotel are illuminated, creating eight hexagonal green neon halos. The office component was 70% leased at the time of closing.

Kearny Real Estate SVP Jeff Givens said, “This was a rare opportunity to acquire an irreplaceable asset in one of the best performing submarkets of downtown San Diego. We’re excited to provide tenants with unique design opportunities for a variety of individual suites and/or full-floor options.”

The Westin hotel at 400 West Broadway in San Diego

His company plans to upgrade common areas, building upon social amenities provided through the shared environment with The Westin San Diego, but also upgrading the office lobby and elevators, and individual floors, Givens said. “Today’s tenants want places to collaborate outside their offices, and Emerald Plaza fills that element with multiple gathering areas and a variety of food and beverage options, including Coava Coffee Roasters’ first San Diego location."

Between the Gaslamp Quarter and Marina District, the project is within walking distance of a variety of shops, restaurants, entertainments and the waterfront promenade and nearby Santa Fe Station, the central hub of the San Diego Trolley and the Amtrak station. It is also close to the new $555M San Diego State Courthouse, which will open in mid-2017, consolidating various operations into a single, modern facility.

Kearny Real Estate is an active investor in the San Diego market and recently completed renovation of the 183k Mission Center Office Park, an atrium-style office complex in Mission Valley. Last year, the company sold the 24-story Five Thirty B St to Canadian investor/developer Bosa Development.

The seller was repped by the HFF investment sales team, led by senior managing directors Ryan Gallagher and Nick Psyllos, and Nick Frasco, along with Michael Leggett, co-head of HFF’s West Coast team. CBRE  senior associate Ryan Grant, SVP Matt Carlson and VP Jeff Oesterblad are handling leasing.