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SAN DIEGO-Condominium development has made its comeback in San Diego, with the unlikely combination of favorable new legislation, a housing crisis and a thriving Downtown residential scene.

Downtown San Diego is poised to become the high-rise condominium capital of the West Coast, with some 8,400 units in the pipeline. Over the last year-and-a-half, downtown San Diego has exploded on the construction scene, producing high- and mid-rise condominiums at a rate never seen before, says Bill Shaw, vice president of business development for Roel Construction, which is building L & L Center LLC’s twin-tower Renaissance project.

State legislation requiring mandatory arbitration of construction defect claims has created endless opportunities on the horizon for the downtown skyline, Shaw says. An owner-provided wrap insurance policy which covers all parties, including architect, developer, and contractor, for the 10-year defect period has reestablished the options and rekindled the excitement to build condos, he says.

The new Downtown ballpark is another piece of the puzzle, helping round out Downtown’s reputation as an after-hours destination.

Roel will complete the 221-unit Renaissance project later this year and is about to start on the Bella Via project, a 41-unit project in the Little Italy area. In addition, Douglas Wilson Companies’ Parkloft condominium project will offer urban sophistication with 120 units in phase one.

Canadian builders led by Bosa Development, with five projects in the works, are also important components in the push, along with Interwest, with both mid- and high-rise projects underway, and Intergulf, with the Treo development almost complete.

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