Five-Star Living Daily at Condo-Hotel

Written by Posted On Sunday, 04 September 2005 17:00

It's a concept that was popular in the eighties and then died off for a while, but an Orange County Developer is reviving condo-hotel living.

Many mega-stars have lived in condo-hotels and now San Diegans will have a chance to do it as well.

The Diegan is a new 21-story tower that will sit on Fifth Avenue in downtown San Diego, California. It'll consist of 161 residences (hotel rooms and suites) and 24 luxury penthouses.

"It is San Diego's first condo-hotel which means basically you can buy a hotel room as an investor/individual and be able to utilize that room and then when you're not using it [an investor can] participate in the success of it being part of the hotel," says the developer of the project, Jim Trammell of 5th Avenue Partners LLC in Newport Beach, California.

South Florida, Miami, New York and Las Vegas are hot spots for condo-hotels. They're often marketed as a hassle-free way to own real estate.

Studios will range from 350 to 500 square feet with the average sales price beginning at $500,000, while one-bedroom suites are 900 to 1,000 square feet, selling for $700,000 to $900,000 and luxury one, two or three bedrooms are anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500 square feet and are selling for one to three million. The Diegan will be move-in ready by the spring of 2007.

"I think San Diego is still under-served from a hotel room standpoint. Because of this being a mechanism to get hotels financed I think that you will see more [of these types of projects] in the future," says Trammell.

The Diegan is being built next to the recently opened House of Blues building. Two floors of the House of Blues will be for hotel use and will connect to the Diegan.

David Rockwell and Associates designed the interior of the condo hotel; Trammell says they also designed the interior for the W Hotels.

"Their theme is an urban beach. It tries to capture the beach oriented lifestyle of San Diego, but keep the interiors clean and sophisticated using natural materials: stone, wood, leather and cork … . It'll be very high quality materials and unique design," says Trammell.

The architect for the building is a company out of San Francisco called Tanner-Hecht Architects

The reservation list for the new condo-hotel project is rapidly growing. Most people who buy this type of real estate are investors who want to use the property seasonally; that's why condo-hotels are typically found in destination resort cities.

"It's really going to be a signature building for San Diego. It has a blade that slices through the building on Fifth Avenue. It's a stainless steel blade that will shimmer in the sun during the day and at night it will be illuminated in yellow, so it will be a beacon for downtown San Diego. That's how we see the project: What Horton Plaza is to downtown San Diego for shopping, the Diegan will be for night-life and entertainment. It's going to be the premiere night-life destination for San Diego. San Diegans have been waiting for this for a longtime," says Trammell.

The Diegan will have a world-class restaurant, world-class bar and a sky bar on top of the House of Blues, a media room, fitness center, spa and ballroom space.

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website:

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

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