SAN DIEGO, Calif., Aug. 00, 2017 – EMMES Realty Services of California LLC has begun a multi-million dollar renovation of the 7th Avenue plaza and atrium lobby of 701 B Street in downtown San Diego.
Following a successful renovation of the B Street entrance of the building, the most dramatic change to the lobby will be the removal of the angled space frame glass wall, which currently inhibits views into the lobby due to the dark reflective glass. A new, straight vertical glass wall will be constructed, nearly doubling the size of the outdoor amenity plaza along 7th Avenue. This will create a spacious outdoor plaza “Urban Oasis”.
When completed, the new lobby will also greet tenants and guests with a spectacular, cascading water wall and provide spaces to gather formally and informally within the completely reimagined interior lobby, café space, or in the outdoor “Urban Oasis,” which will offer a space unlike anything else downtown.
“EMMES’s goal is to re-establish 701B as the ‘place to be’ downtown – a destination.” said Mark Kuske, Asset Manager, EMMES Realty Services of California LLC. “We wanted to create a design that would be appealing to a wide range of tenants, while also providing another attractive asset to the whole downtown experience.”
According to Kevin Leslie, LPA project designer, “Lobbies of the past were merely transient spaces that no one really spent any time in. They offered no amenities and were simply not comfortable places to want to spend time. We see lobbies today as an extension of the office, providing places to ‘get away’ and have meetings outside of the normal working environment. The new 701B lobby will be activated throughout the workday and evening hours, where typical office lobbies vacate after working hours.”
Earlier this week, Mayor Kevin Faulconer presented EMMES Realty Services with a proclamation that marked March 21, 2016 as “EMMES Realty Day” in honor of the company’s significant contribution to real estate investment, improvements and economic opportunity in Downtown.
Additionally, EMMES showcased its latest investment – 701 B Street’s renovated lobby and upcoming Crunch Downtown Fitness Center.
EMMES has renovated and established more than 1.45 million square feet of premier office space in Downtown San Diego through a real estate portfolio that includes the following properties that house 139 companies in a wide array of professions and offer unique amenities geared to the workplace of the future: 701 B Street, 707 Broadway, 1 Columbia Place and 2 Columbia Place.
SAN DIEGO—Companies are moving from the suburbs to offices in Downtown San Diego, EMMES Realty Services of California’s customer-service manager Christine Takara tells GlobeSt.com.
What’s more, urban office-building amenities like modern gyms, restaurants and other retail stores can contribute not only to that building’s tenants, but to residents, employees and visitors to the Downtown market. As a representative of the second-largest commercial-office landlord in Downtown San Diego, next to the Irvine Co., Takara tells us exclusively what her firm has seen in this “urban migration” and why innovation-based companies are drawn to Downtown and the firm’s 707 Broadway building.
GlobeSt.com: Are companies other than small start-ups moving from the suburbs to Downtown San Diego?
Takara: Mostly younger companies are attracted to the amenities—that’s what we’ve seen. For example, CPC Strategy, a retail search solutions company, has grown over the past three years. They moved Downtown from Mission Valley, and they now occupy the top two full floors at 707 Broadway. So these are not just tiny, blossoming companies—they’ve been around for a few years and have outgrown their space. CPC was tired of Mission Valley, where there are limited places to walk and eat. They’re recruiting kids out of college, so they want to be somewhere attractive. Downtown has the ball park, bars, restaurants and gathering places—plus the residential market. While people are moving Downtown to live, they also want to work there.
“These are not just tiny, blossoming companies – they’ve been around for a few years and have outgrown their space.”
GlobeSt.com: What will happen to these innovation-based companies as they grow and need more space but want to remain Downtown?
Takara: Specific, with EMMES, we’re the second-largest landlord downtown. We own four buildings in Downtown San Diego, and each is very different. We buy underperforming assets and invest in capital improvements to bring them up to today’s standards. 701 B Street was repositioned so that it now feels like a class-A office. Having a four-building portfolio in San Diego is great because as these tenants do grow, we can accommodate them. Every company is trying to amenitized their building. Some of the things we’ve done at another property, 701 B, is a lease with Crunch Fitness, a mega-gym, with street and lobby access. It’s a new tenant amenity, but it’s also for the 20,000 B St. financial-district workers to use. We like to provide retail amenities for our tenants and also the greater Downtown area.
GlobeSt.com: What’s unique about 707 Broadway?
Takara: We have a game room with a PS4 and a shuffleboard table, a ping-pong table and a healthy-vending micro-market: you scan the item and pay with a credit card or thumbprint—that’s the future of vending. There’s a complimentary gym there with cardio equipment, showers, group fitness areas (they want a hip-hop dance class there). Younger tenants with employees in their early 20s and 30s want to do fitness together; they find it important in their work/life balance. We also have a bike-storage room connected to a garage, so people can live Downtown, bike to work, store their bike and go upstairs to work. We have a Nosh Express and EV chargers there as well—we anticipate a lot of people having electric vehicles—and a public garage. We also made the building dog friendly, with a dog park where they can run and use the bathroom right outside the building, which is a huge deal. We’ve heard some people in the market say they’re only looking for space that’s dog friendly, which is rare in multi-tenant buildings Downtown. I don’t know of another one that allows dogs.
GlobeSt.com: What else should our readers know about the “urban migration” trend in Downtown San Diego?
Takara: Some of the reasons why companies are coming Downtown is the walkability, the location, the dining options, the waterfront—and there are a lot of people living down here now. Also, office rents Downtown are even cheaper than many of the suburban areas.
Copyright 2016. ALM Media Properties, LLC. All rights reserved. Article found at GlobeSt.com | By Carrie Rossenfeld.
The investment in 701B (www.701B.com) continues EMMES’ commitment to enhancing the Downtown EMMES Portfolio on behalf of its investors. The Downtown EMMES Portfolio is comprised of 701B and three other high-rise office properties: 1 Columbia Place, 2 Columbia Place and 707 Broadway (known as “707”).
“Our vision is to create workplaces that are amenity-rich and more inviting for today’s workforce,” said Scott Grady, Senior Vice President of EMMES Realty Services.”
The announcement of Crunch Fitness Downtown comes as the newly remodeled lobby entrance of 701B opened earlier this month. The new fitness center will have direct access from both the lobby and the street, with a prominent retail reception area on the ground floor.
“This incredible fitness facility, which will serve the nearly 20,000 workers in the immediate area, will be a terrific amenity to the ‘B Street Corridor’ in Downtown San Diego,” said Grady.
Ryan Junk, Executive Vice President of CFG Downtown LLC, said, “Crunch Fitness facilities are very clean, well-maintained and energetic clubs. Our members say there is always a great energy when they walk through the doors and we are excited to combine this energy with the great improvements EMMES is making at 701B.” Junk continued, “The vision for Crunch Fitness Downtown is to deliver unique programs and equipment that meet the needs of club members with tremendous drive but limited time and scheduling flexibility. The variety of classes that we offer is based on the growing trend of functional fitness and workouts that provide all-in-one, full-body conditioning, and engaging muscles from head-to-toe.”
EMMES Realty Services LLC is a member of the EMMES Group of Companies. Founded in 1992, with offices in New York and California, the EMMES Group of Companies and its affiliates are engaged in principal real estate investments, funds management and real estate services. For more information about EMMES, visit www.emmesco.com.
About Crunch Fitness
Crunch is one of the fastest growing fitness chains in San Diego County. Crunch Fitness Downtown members will have access to Crunch’s four other clubs in San Diego County. For more information about Crunch Fitness, visit www.crunchfitness.com.