Chicago Developer Expands Portfolio to San Diego

Removal of historic designation sets stage for mixed-use residential project in the heart of downtown’s East Village.

Chicago, IL (May 27, 2009)—A successful effort to remove an inaccurate historic designation from a former truck repair shop has opened the door for Chicago-based developer Mitch Gerson to expand his award-winning real estate portfolio to San Diego.

A May 12, 2009 ruling by the San Diego Council paves the way for Gerson Development to pursue development of a mixed-use residential project in the heart of San Diego’s downtown East Village. Only three blocks from PETCO Park, the home of the San Diego Padres, San Diego Trolley and nationally renowned Gaslamp Quarter, Gerson’s project is positioned to become a major contributor to the continued East Village renaissance. Downtown San Diego has seen more than $1 billion in new development since the opening of PETCO Park in 2004.

“I look forward to building a project that will accommodate my San Diego office and make the downtown community proud,” said Gerson.

With over 20 years of experience developing successful projects in the Chicago area, including the Damen Pierce mixed-use project in the Bucktown/Wicker ark area, the project is Gerson’s first in San Diego.

The property is a 12,000 square foot lot located next to the historic Victorian Rosario Hall, now The Mission Café restaurant, also owned by Gerson. Plans for the mixed-use project when, in 2008, the San Diego Historical Resources Board designated the existing one-story building on the site as an example of a vernacular industrial warehouse. However, the former truck repair shop, built in 1945, was never used for industrial or warehouse purposes. Gerson’s consultants appealed the designation to the San Diego City Council who agreed that the designation was inaccurate and voted to remove the designation.

Gerson is now able to remove the garage and pursue his vision of a mixed-use mid-rise building, which will include retail on the first floor, with residential units and offices on the upper floors. The vision for the development is similar to Gerson’s GoGlobal Office Suites experience in Chicago (Northbrook), which features urban office suites with close proximity to public transportation.