Amp&rsand is a five-story office property that was recently repurposed by The Casey Brown Company. | Images courtesy a representative of CBRE

Finance Firm Commits to 95,000 SF at Amp&rsand

Carrie Rossenfeld Office

The redeveloped former San Diego Union-Tribune site, Amp&rsand, has a new tenant. According to a release from a representative of CBRE, international specialty-finance company Encore Capital Group has signed a lease and will move its headquarters to the property, owned and repurposed by the Casey Brown Company.

The release says Encore is consolidating its two offices in San Diego’s Mission Valley submarket and will occupy the entire third floor and a portion of the ground floor in the project, a total of approximately 95,000 square feet. In addition, tenant improvements on this space are slated to begin this fall, according to the release.

CBRE’s Matt Carlson, Ryan Grant, and Jeff Oesterblad represented the landlord, while Derek Applbaum, Evan Djikas, and Andrew Gooliak of Colliers International represented the tenant, the statement says.

Amp&rsand is described in the statement as “a modern and highly amenitized work campus consisting of approximately 340,000 square feet, featuring two interconnected buildings, located in the heart of San Diego at 350 Camino de la Reina.” The release says the five-story office tower is where editors and journalists once published the currently active San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper, and the adjacent three-story building housed its printing presses. After the renovations done by the Casey Brown Company, the interior design has an “industrial loft-style feel, featuring exposed brick, concrete pillars, and 14-foot ceilings, along with floor-to-ceiling glass windows,” according to the statement.

Casey Brown, principal of The Casey Brown Company, is quoted in the release as saying, “Amp&rsand is a historic location, reimagined for the demands of the modern workforce.” He adds that it’s hard to find highly amenitized, high-quality, newly repurposed buildings that offers large floorplates in the Mission Valley submarket. “We thoughtfully developed an innovative campus that offers a high-end lifestyle experience, indoor-outdoor spaces, an exercise facility, and luxury business amenities while preserving the historical aspects of the San Diego Union-Tribune.”

As SoCal Real Estate recently reported Brown discussed Amp&rsand at a recent ULI event about company culture, stressing the importance of getting San Diego companies on board with the importance modern office amenities. “We need to get these companies to start doing it with culture — they need to embrace it,” Brown said.

The campus, located near intersection I-8 and SR-163 and in walking distance to the Green Line Trolley stop and Fashion Valley mall, features nine patios and 64,000 square feet of outdoor collaborative space, and 5,000 square feet is dedicated to a fitness studio, the statement says, adding that other amenities include an outdoor multifunctional amphitheater, craft coffee, a café, concierge services, valet services, and EV parking onsite. The campus also boasts additional outdoor spaces and parks both within and between the buildings and along the San Diego River, according to the release.

Carl Eberling, SVP and chief information officer for Encore, is quoted in the release as saying that the firm is “excited to have found a new home that will help drive greater collaboration” within the company. “We are investing in our most important asset, our people, and we believe our new space will help with recruitment, retaining top talent, and fostering a stronger company culture.”

According to the release, CBRE research has found that the San Diego office market improved in Q2 2018 from previous quarters as absorption surpassed 500,000 square feet and vacancy dropped to a post-recession low of 10.6 percent. Large blocks of highly amenitized and contiguous space are very difficult to secure, the research says.

The property boasts outdoor spaces and parks both within and between the buildings and along the San Diego River.