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SAN DIEGO-Lowe Enterprises of Los Angeles has landed a disposition and development agreement for a 900,000-sf LEED Silver office project at the San Diego County Operations Center. The agreement between Lowe and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors sets the stage for Lowe to build the office space in a redevelopment of the 37-acre county operations center and annex on Overland Avenue in Kearny Mesa, along with service buildings and parking.

The supervisors’ action also approved the environmental impact report for the project, which will consolidate county operations at the office campus. Mike McNerney, senior vice president at Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group, explains that the project will be developed in two phases. Lowe will begin work in the fall on the first phase, which will include the development of a central plant that will provide the mechanical systems to run the entire campus.

Four 150,000-sf, four-story office buildings and a 20,000-sf conference center and cafeteria also are included in phase one, plus a seven-level parking structure and off-site improvements to reduce the project’s traffic impacts. The first step in the construction process will be the demolition of several existing structures that are more than 40 years old. Development of the first phase is expected to be completed over the next four years.

The remaining phase of the development is composed of an additional two 150,000-sf, four-story office buildings, identical to the buildings in phase one, and another parking structure. As part of the agreement with the county, Lowe and Fairfield Residential will acquire the approximately 19.5-acre annex site to defray the county’s costs to build the new campus.

The San Diego project follows other Lowe Enterprises developments in the San Diego market. Along with the acquisition and disposition of several industrial and office properties in the area, the company also completed the 75,000-sf Ocean Ridge, a class A office development in Carlsbad in 2006.

In addition, Lowe owns a 10-acre site entitled for 270,000 sf of office and R&D development in the Rancho Bernardo area. Through affiliate Lowe Hospitality Group it developed and operates the Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa and is currently completing a $24 million renovation of the L’Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa to be completed in early June.

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