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SAN DIEGO-Some experts point to softness in the multifamily sector, but office projects have picked up the slack. MetroWork, which broke ground in November, is one of the Downtown office properties gaining momentum in the local area.Most recently, SplitRock Group LLC arranged $21.5 million in construction financing for the office condominium project. Lee Spiegelman of SplitRock Group, on behalf of the developer, Berkson Realty Advisors, led the financing effort.At completion, the property will count 80,000 sf in the projected nine-story building, and will be set in the Little Italy section of town. The project includes 27 office condo units that will range from 1,888 sf to 2,752 sf. Howard Berkson of Berkson Realty Advisors says the units will begin in the low $500,000s. He adds that monthly association fees will be “expected to approximate the expense pass-throughs that tenants pay as part of their office rent.”MetroWork is among a new trend of office condo projects popping up in the Downtown area. Other sites include the four-story Columbia Court building Downtown. The 28,233-sf site is a development of San Diego-based Pacifica Cos. Another project is the T.R. Produce warehouse near Petco Park. Cruzan-Monroe is converting the property into 28 office units.Berkson says this trend of office condo projects is following the lead of similar projects in Manhattan and Silicon Valley. “The attributes of office ownership resemble those of home ownership,” Berkson says. “Purchase of the office condo enables the business owner to gain long-term control over his workspace expenditures, realize certain tax benefits as well as an appreciating asset.”

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