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SAN DIEGO-In the largest non-portfolio office sale in San Diego so far this year, the Point, a three-building office/R&D project totaling 287,490 sf, has sold for $90 million. The class A project was sold to a joint venture between Cisterra Partners LLC and Prudential Real Estate Investors. The seller was LaSalle Investment Management Inc.

The Point, which includes two four-story office buildings, each with 93,699 sf, and an adjacent 100,092-sf office and R&D building, is located off the I-15 in Rancho Bernardo. “The area is gaining notoriety as a premier corporate location,” says Jason Wood, senior vice president of financing and leasing, with Cisterra Partners. Wood adds that the latest buy brings the firm’s portfolio to more than 800,000 sf in San Diego County.

Lynn LaChapelle, senior vice president and principal with Burnham Real Estate, along with Burnham’s Bob Prendergast, Tom van Betten and Marc Posthumus represented both the buyer and the seller in the transaction. The Burnham team will continue to handle leasing efforts for the project.

In a recent market report, Burnham Real Estate predicted that San Diego County would face a soft economic landing rather than a full-blown recession, emphasizing that the R&D sector experienced its highest level of activity since 2000. Experts attribute this momentum to a demand for flex space and to companies seeking out more affordable alternatives to higher priced class A office space.

However, the study also notes that San Diego is a favored investment market because of its supply constraints and large quantity of high-quality properties, such as the Point, whose tenants include Sony, Salomon Smith Barney, First Franklin, SAIC and Taylor Woodrow Homes. Its corporate neighbors include Hewlett Packard, BAE, Siemens, General Atomics and Northrop Grumman.

Burnham’s study also concluded that San Diego County’s office market will continue to benefit from positive employment growth and its strong professional services sector. It also notes that although San Diego has less than a 20% chance of experiencing a recession, it has an even lower probability, less than 15%, of experiencing a boom.

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