SAN DIEGO-The transformation of the former First National Bank building Downtown is under way, with Watt Commercial Properties currently turning the historic office building into a mixed-use property housing 84 live/work lofts and approximately 16,000 sf of retail space. Built in 1909 and commonly referred to as the city’s first high-rise facility, the property is located at the corner of Fifth and Broadway. “It is centrally located at the north end of the Gaslamp Quarter,” Jeff Zinner tells Zinner is a project manager with the Centre City Development Corp., a nonprofit entity that assists the City of San Diego with the planning and facilitation of Downtown’s redevelopment efforts. With its prime location and new use as a retail and residential building, Zinner says the project, now known as Broadway Lofts, is “essential for bringing the type of excitement and energy that we’re looking for Downtown.” The renovation of the Broadway facility has been several years in the making, as Zinner explains. The idea was conceived when the building was donated to the City of San Diego. “The city in turn conveyed it to the redevelopment agency and our charge was to basically get the building redeveloped,” Zinner tells He says that a request for proposals was issued, with the redevelopment agency envisioning a significant rehab of the property into an “edgy office or live-work use.” Through the RFP process, the agency found Watt Commercial Properties and signed an agreement with the developer in 2001.As part of the deal, Watt acquired the building for a purchase price of $1.5 million and agreed to give the redevelopment agency a percentage of the project’s future cash flow, Zinner says. “Not only did we get the $1.5 million up front, but we do stand to receive additional compensation through our participation agreement,” he tells general contracting firm Ledcor is building Broadway Lofts, which has an estimated project cost of $21 million. Completion is currently slated for spring 2005.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.


GlobeSt Net Lease Spring 2024Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.