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SAN DIEGO-Having received the certificate of occupancy for its Acqua Vista project in Downtown San Diego just a mere month ago, Santa Monica-based developer Watt Commercial Properties has already sold the luxury condominium complex to homebuilder K. Hovnanian Cos. of California Inc. for $106 million. The deal highlights the significant demand for condo product that continues to flourish in Downtown San Diego.Located in Downtown’s Little Italy area, Acqua Vista stands on a 1.4-acre parcel that takes up the entire block bounded by Ash, Columbia, Beech and State streets. Designed by RTKL & Associates, the project is comprised of twin glass towers that stand 18 stories high and are connected by a base of five- and eight-story buildings with two interior courtyards. The development includes 425 parking spaces and houses a total of 382 condo units, with the pair of towers offering ground-level, live/work spaces that resemble row houses. The unit mix also includes one-, two- and three-bedroom flats, as well as penthouses with recessed terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows. Watt Commercial originally envisioned the project as a luxury apartment development, but company officials changed their minds once the depth of demand for condo product became apparent, as Jonathan Genton, the firm’s vice president of development, explains to GlobeSt.com. “About seven or eight months ago, we realized that its value would be higher as condos than to take it out as apartments and hold it for seven or eight years,” he says. So, the firm hired CB Richard Ellis, which shopped the asset around as condo product to a “short list of logical players,” Genton notes, adding that Acqua Vista fits well into K. Hovnanian’s plans of continued expansion into the infill, high-rise market. As for Watt Commercial, “we exited at a price better than what our target was far earlier in the cycle than we thought we could,” Genton says.

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