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SAN DIEGO-Lankford & Associates Inc. has partnered with the National Electric Benefit Fund, a major national real estate pension fund investor, to develop Broadway 655, a Downtown high-rise.

Company President Rob Lankford says he anticipates breaking ground in May on the 26-story building at Broadway and Kettner. Construction will take two years.

The San Diego City Council will consider approval of the project Tuesday.

“The financing and strong preleasing activity validate the excitement we’ve felt over the past year in committing to downtown and helping lead a renaissance that will be taking place near the harbor over the next decade,” Lankford says. “Downtown is definitely on the move and we are proud to be part of it.”

“We are pleased to be investing in this 100% union-built class A office building in such a prime San Diego location,” say NEBF trustees John Grau, executive vice president of NECA, and Jeremiah O’Connor, secretary-treasurer of the IBEW. “This is a premier example of a prudent and sound real estate investment which will also create union jobs for our participants and contributing contractors.”

The $150 million Broadway 655 mixed-use development totals 475,000 sf, including 430,000 sf of office space, parking for 750 cars, 13,000 sf of retail space and a four-story residential component on the E Street side.

Carrier Johnson Architects is the project architect for Broadway 655 and preconstruction services are being provided by Hensel Phelps Construction Co.

Lankford has already announced a letter of intent from the national law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP to lease 113,000 sf in the top six floors. He expects to announce another letter of intent shortly, for 155,000 sf. Both tenants are represented by Jason Hughes, of The Irving Hughes Group.

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