SENTRE has extensive investment experience in office, multi-family, R&D, retail and industrial properties. Through various investment structures, SENTRE has acquired and/or developed projects in Southern California and Mexico totaling more than 10 million square feet and with a value in excess of $3 billion.
Since 1989 our experience and entrepreneurial spirit has driven value add decision making and outside the box thinking embodied in a few of the following projects.
225 Broadway, also known as the NBC Building, is a 345,000 square foot Class A office building in downtown San Diego, located adjacent to Horton Plaza. In 1996, SENTRE partnered with GE Pension Trust to acquire the building for $25 million ($72/SF). As the local market operator, SENTRE oversaw the management of the asset while also providing leasing and marketing services. At the time of acquisition, the building was only 75% leased. SENTRE implemented a value-add strategy that we call “bringing purpose to real estate”. This included installing state-of-the art technology, becoming good stewards of the surrounding public space, fully engaging with the downtown business community, bringing new entrepreneurial energy to the building, and creating San Diego’s own version of Rockefeller Center – all with the goal of attracting new tenants not only to the building, but to the entire downtown submarket.
In conjunction with technology services company, Bandwidth Now, cutting-edge technology was installed throughout the building to create a “next-gen” building. Fiber optic cable was pulled from the surrounding street and distributed throughout the building. Each suite was pre-wired to provide tenants with plug-and-play access to high-speed internet service at a significant cost savings. Additionally, free high-speed wireless internet was installed and made available to tenants and guests of the building.
The ground floor of the building was completely re-purposed. Upgrades included a lobby remodel, the creation of a Downtown Information Center, and improvements to the building’s restaurant space. The building’s outdoor plaza was redesigned as a public event space and re-named Horton Park. The plaza has become home to the annual Fantasy on Ice rink, which to date has raised over $1.5 million for Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego, and continues to provide great holiday season entertainment to countless San Diego families. In 2001, the technologically advanced building caught the attention of KNSD-TV, the NBC affiliate of San Diego. After they relocated to 225 Broadway from their long-time home in Kearny Mesa, their ground floor “Street Side” digital news studio became the focal point of the plaza, and the building was re-branded as the NBC Building.
In 2004, after increasing the occupancy rate to 96%, SENTRE and GE Pension Trust sold the building for $96 million ($289/SF).
San Diego Tech Center
In 1991, SENTRE was engaged by GE Pension Trust to execute a turnaround plan for a 650,000 SF mixed-use office/R&D project in the Sorrento Mesa submarket of San Diego known at the time as the Naiman Tech Center. At the time, the project was only 60% leased, suffering significant cash flow shortfalls and in default on an existing mortgage. SENTRE’s assessment was that the property was failing to capture its inherent competitive advantages as a lifestyle campus located at the epicenter of San Diego’s emerging technology industry. Instead, the property was being marketed as a commodity asset in an over-built market and forced to compete on price alone.
SENTRE began to implement a strategy that we refer to as “Bringing Purpose to Real Estate”. The property was infused with new technology including high-speed fiber-optic connectivity between the buildings, free wi-fi throughout the campus, and digital directories in building lobbies. The existing tenant roster was replaced by technology businesses that were the economic engines of San Diego’s New Economy, bringing a new entrepreneurial energy to the campus. The property was re-branded as The San Diego Tech Center – Where Technology Serves Mankind.
In 1998, SENTRE entered into a joint venture with Westbrook Partners to purchase the San Diego Tech Center for $93 million ($143/SF). By 2001, with the project 100% occupied and with in-place rents having increased by 40%, the property was sold for $130 million ($200/SF). RREEF, the new owners, understanding the unique value that SENTRE had created, retained us as their local operator for the next 5 years.
During nearly 15 years of stewardship of this unique asset, SENTRE positioned the San Diego Tech Center into what is today the premier office/R&D campus in San Diego. Significant capital improvement projects were undertaken, including the remodeling of building lobbies, improving traffic flows, and upgrading landscaping and signage throughout the campus. Finally, SENTRE was able to process entitlement rights for an additional 1.8 million square feet of office development on the property.
Carlton Heights Villas
Carlton Heights Villas Apartments is a 70-unit garden-style project that includes 48,750 rentable square feet in four buildings, plus a leasing office building. The property offers 42 one-bedroom, one-bath and 28 two-bedroom, two-bath floor plans.
Recognizing the inherent potential of Santee and the limited supply of multifamily product in this historically single-family home oriented community, SENTRE purchased Carlton Heights Villas in June 2011 for $7.9 million. Existing amenities included a pool, spa, two laundry rooms, and onsite leasing office. Other than standard maintenance items, the property had not seen any significant upgrades since its original construction in 1978.
With a goal of capitalizing on the active gentrification of the submarket, SENTRE began adding value to this project immediately by demising the oversized leasing office, creating an onsite fitness center and common restrooms, as well as adding Wi-Fi to the surrounding pool area – rare amenities in similarly sized communities. Subsequent common area improvements have included an extensive landscape overhaul, new monument, building, and apartment signage, and addition of a barbeque island and resort-style cabana to the pool area. These common area improvements paved the way for select interior upgrades, including hardwood-style flooring, upgraded lighting and plumbing fixtures, and modern two-tone paint. Value-add improvements as well as the recent addition of energy-saving solar panels have seen returns upwards of 15%, with rents rising over 11% in just two and a half years, while operating expenses have decreased. As demand continues to increase, SENTRE remains active, testing the market for additional upgrades to maximize potential rent and increase overall investor returns.
Acquired by the Peckham Family in 1953, the original project consisted of three small office buildings on a 18,000 square foot site located on the corner of Scott Street and North Harbor Drive adjacent to the Bay in Point Loma. In 2008, the Peckham Family hired SENTRE as development manager to redevelop the site as the first Class A, LEED Certified Gold office building in the Point Loma area. SENTRE entitled the project securing a site and coastal development permit for a three-story, 25,000 square foot, mixed-use building in September 2009. Construction was completed in October 2010 with a project name of Harbor Point.
Designed with both office and retail tenants in mind, the highly-amenitized boutique project features secured and covered parking, men’s and women’s showers, bicycle parking, suite and common area key card access, and operable windows. An elevator serves the parking garage and all three floors. The building also features a Point Loma themed art wall along the main stairway, which was recognized with an award by the Point Loma Association.
In conjunction with technology services company Bandwidth Now, cutting-edge technology was installed throughout the building. Free, high-speed wireless internet is available to tenants and guests of the building, and each suite was pre-wired for tenant “plug and play” access. The primary building systems (e.g. mechanical, elevator and security cameras) are IP-enabled, allowing for remote access and a proactive and more efficient approach to building management.
The building is the first Class A, LEED Certified Gold for Core and Shell in Point Loma and has achieved an Energy Star rating for 2013 recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The end result – operable windows, abundant natural light and expansive outdoor areas – creates an attractive work environment with reduced utility consumption and tenant expenses.
SENTRE was also engaged to provide property management and leasing services. The building was 100% leased within 18 months of completion.