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Chamber Building in downtown San Diego changes ownership

The 23-story, 173,682-square-foot Chamber Building at 110 West C St. in downtown San Diego 92101, has been sold.

The new owner is HCP Chamber LLC, c/o Barker Pacific Group, 811 W. Seventh St., Suite 1050, Los Angeles. Hamilton Capital Partners LLC is the manager of HCP Chamber and Barker Pacific is manager of Hamilton Capital. Michael D. Barker is managing director of Barker Pacific.

The seller is Charter Building Limited, a California limited partnership with S.E.S. Real Estate Inc. and Sharon Enterprises Inc. as the general partners. M. Scott Learned is president of S.E.S. and Sharon C. Considine is president and Timothy M. Considine is secretary of Sharon Enterprises.

The transaction involved HCP's assumption of the balance of a ground lease originally made in August 1959. To finance the assumption, Charter Building Limited took back a three-year leasehold trust deed for $15.5 million from HCP.

Paul Lafrenz, Don Mitchell and Brian Klepacki of CB Richard Ellis were the listing agents. Tim Cowden and John Shelton of Colliers International represented the buyer and will serve as the exclusive leasing agents.

The building was built in 1963 and got its current name when the San Diego Chamber of Commerce was headquartered there until 1990. Previously, it had been known as The Charter Building.

The multitenant building was honored by BOMA, the Building Owners and Managers Association's Renovated Office Building of the Year in 2002. It also received BOMA's award as The Office Building of the Year "TOBY" Award in 2000 and 1990 for buildings of its size.

Barker Pacific will manage the building and plans to rehab public area finishes and facility systems over the next 12 to 18 months.

When completed, it was the tallest high-rise office building in the state. It has 257 parking spaces on eight levels, two below grade and six above.

The management team for Barker Pacific includes building manager Gail Collins; architect and engineers, Palmer and Krisel, AIA; mechanical engineers, Starnel Engineering; mechanical contractor, Tradewind Enterprises Inc.; and building engineers, Nouri Nahoraof/Frank Sanchez.

As a developer, Barker Pacific has completed or has under development or redevelopment in excess of $950 million in commercial projects.

Hamilton Capital is an affiliate of Barker Pacific and will serve as the manager of the Hamilton Capital Partners Fund 2002, a private investment fund formed to acquire office and industrial projects in California. The Chamber Building is the first acquisition for the private real estate fund.

"We have been looking for a great opportunity to acquire a key asset in this market," said Barker. "The San Diego economy has been relatively strong with its diverse business community and the long-term real estate values have been rising when many urban areas are facing a decline due to a glut of available space. The Chamber Building fit our portfolio profile and we felt there was good value in the price." The firm has offices in Los Angeles and Marin County.

The building is more than 90 percent occupied. Leasing activity reported last year included:

· SOFIA Immigration Services with 954 square feet for 36 months at $50,000.

· Tynan Group with 1,718 square feet for 60 months at $170,000.

· KRM Brokers with 788 square feet for 12 months at $25,000.

· Attorney Christopher McAteer with 950 square feet for 60 months at $90,000.

· Dunk and Associates with 1,403 square feet for 36 months at $70,000.

· Title Court Services with 1,150 square feet for 36 months at $57,000.

· Jon Rigney with 805 square feet for 36 months at $39,503.

· Donna Woodley with 1,236 square feet for 60 months at $108,164.

· Legal Reprographics Inc. with 12,797 square feet for 120 months at $2 million.

· Arena and Associates with 835 square feet for 60 months at $81,407.

· Bill O'Connell with 964 square feet for 36 months at $53,633.

· Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek with 824 square feet for 12 months at $13,349.

In late 2000, Rathbone & Ruderman leased 1,390 square feet for 36 months at $80,314.

The Chamber Building is the fifth downtown San Diego office building to have changed hands within the past six months.

The 18-story, 320,000-square-foot 110 Plaza building at 110 West A St. was sold for $55 million earlier this year. The acquisition also included an adjacent two-story pavilion. The buyer was 110 Plaza San Diego LLC, a California limited liability company of BCL Inc., a local company, and Lehman Brothers of New York City.

Other office buildings to have changed hands recently include: One America Plaza on West Broadway for $166.2 million last November; Symphony Towers on B Street for $134 million this year; and the former Bank of America Building on Broadway for $20.5 million in January.

A number of other properties have also been reported for sale. Besides the Chamber Building, the properties included the Washington Mutual Building, West Ash Plaza, the First National Bank Center and the Koll Center. No new office high-rise buildings have been constructed in downtown San Diego in more than a decade.

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