Big Bash For New 1 Columbia Place
Emmes Asset Management revealed its spectacular redevelopment of 1 Columbia Place this week, drawing 350 people (and our camera) to the 556k SF vintage-’80s building that’s brand new again.
Emmes Asset Management VP Scott Grady, CEO Andrew Davidoff, San Diego City Council member Todd Gloria, and Downtown San Diego Partnership president Kris Michell. Scott tells us giving the building a proper—and grand—entrance was one of main goals. That involved removing the side on Columbia and creating a new entrance leading to the building’s seven-story atrium.
Scott stresses that improving the street-level experience, and the human interaction with the building, were critical to reinventing the property. It now has a gleaming white Trespa façade, and new signage, lighting, and wayfinding elements. (From now on, the only way to get lost is in someone else's deep blue eyes.)
The Pulse's Cindy Matalucci and attorney Kristen Roberts in front of the new lobby desk, a focal point of the atrium. LED lighting of various colors—the desk is backlit here in blue—is particularly important for wayfinding through the lobby, Scott says.
The Emmes management team, headed by Christie Kong, who also takes the lead in getting into the spirit of the festivities.
Scott tells us Emmes spent $10M remaking 1 Columbia Place, which is 80% occupied—with lots of interest on the three remaining floors. And it's not just law firms (who tend to congregate Downtown), but also ad agencies, tech firms, and other creative enterprises. Snapped: the Downtown Partnership’s Greg Parkington and architect Bastiaan Bouma.
Renowned San Diego sax man James Whitmore blew his horn for the grand opening. While he won't be one of the permanent upgrades to the building, there are some others that are a little harder to see, Scott says. The building now has a highly sophisticated tech infrastructure, including fiber throughout that provides Wi-Fi to every part of the building. In the lobby, media walls will offer content that changes daily.
One more feature: redeveloped terraces on a number of floors, with places to relax, landscaping, and (soon) food service. “It’s like a hotel amenity,” Scott says. Above are Bisnow’s own Sean Spear (see more below about him), Christie, and Co-Merge partner Robert Conrad. (We think the seven-story atrium is the perfect location for the world indoor paper plane championships, which is a real thing.)