He’s planning a 41-story, 232-unit tower at the southeast corner of Broadway and Pacific Highway.
Estimated to cost $250 million and projected for completion in 2016, this would not be the tallest, by floor count, in the city. Its neighbor to the east, Electra, also built by Bosa, holds that distinction: 43 stories.
But it will be the most expensive with a starting price of $750,000. And that’s as it should be, in Bosa’s view, given its front-door location at the intersection of downtown’s two main streets.
The projected size of the units range from 954 to 2,503 square feet with most in the 1,300- to 1,750-square-foot range. Bosa’s most recent project, Bayside opened in 2009 at a price range of $569,000 to $3.4 million.
Designed by the New York offices of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, the new building would feature a sleek, modern, glass-faced tower resembling a spiral shell.
CCDC staff praised the look as “well composed and exceptional.”
“The tower’s clean, straight-forward aesthetic creates a distinctive and elegant architectural statement that terminates in a unique and graceful roofline,” the staff report says.
Bosa, who has completed seven downtown condo towers so far and has at least five other sites to come, said he plans to start construction on this newest one next year because it is what he considers his most dramatic to date.
“Why leave great wine in the cellar for someone else to drink?” he asked. “I want to drink it.”
Bosa said his building schedule has fallen back three or four years because of the recession.
“We want to rev this little puppy up,” he said. “This will be marketed nationally. It’s an icon. We want to bring the San Diego condo market out with a big bang right off the bat.”
He said with the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan’s $28 million first phase under construction to beautify the nearby waterfront, “it’s time to get San Diego on the next wave. This is the one to do it.”
Asked what the project will be called, Bosa said he will try a gimmick he’s used successfully in other cities. “We want to get San Diego excited,” he said. “We are going to have a contest in San Diego and want people to engage.”
(Sorry, says Bosa, the winner doesn’t get a free condo, but perhaps a tour by him of the top floor observation roof deck.)
Gary Smith, president of the Downtown San Diego Residents Group, called the Bosa building “awesome,” though he stopped short of comparing it to the Sydney Opera House.
But he said there is pent-up demand for new units. “If you look at the inventory, the unsold new units are around 200 and they’re selling 30 per month,” Smith said.
If that pace keeps up, those new units could be snapped up in 10 months and leave a gap before new projects are completed; the next ones are not expected until 2015. Zillow lists 389 homes, mostly resale, for sale in the 92101 downtown ZIP code area and another 276 for rent.
“A lot of people buying don’t necessarily want to buy some of the older places,” Smith said.
Trudy Stambook, an real estate agent with Centre City Properties, said a large segment of the unmet demand is for large units suitable for year-round living, rather than small units typically bought for part-time use.
But she said the next four years look promising for new developments to hit the market.
“I think it will be much more robust,” she said.