Given the current state of the economic and real estate industries its easy for us as buyers, sellers, brokers, developers and the like to adopt an increasingly negative outlook. Doug Wilson, the founder and CEO of Doug Wilson Construction, however, does not wish to participate. In the November, 2008 issue of the San Diego Metropolitan, Wilson recently authored the article, Creating a City of Change: Todays Capital Crisis is a Blip. The article summarizes as follows.
Wilson has seen massive changes take place in San Diegos urban core since his arrival in 1984. Such changes began with he and his two partners development of Symphony Towers, the citys largest privately financed mixed-use development at that time. Changes similar to Symphony Towers have been reproduced over the last 25 years changing Downtown into what Wilson calls a world-class commercial, entertainment and residential center.
Wilson attributes these changes to both planned and unplanned factors taking place in the Downtown San Diego market. The planned aspects come from organization of one of the largest Downtown redevelopment programs of any city. The unplanned come from both social and economic conditions.
Socially, Wilson believes that the children of those who fled to the suburbs a generation or two ago are growing tired of the constraints of this lifestyle and crave the new up-and-coming excitement that Downtown is creating. To accommodate these desires Wilsons company pioneered Parkloft, the first for-sale condo/loft development in East Village. (Located directly behind our offices at 92101 Urban Living) As residents and re-locaters have seen, East Village has been transformed from what was an old warehouse type neighborhood into a current day urban village.
Wilson also believes that Downtown has become a vacation home market, and that The Mark is attracting a growing number of [these] out-of-town buyers.
In addition to the social factors affecting change, its also pertinent to analyze the economic facts as well. Given the current state of Wall Street and the mortgage markets, Wilson believes that the 92101 real estate market is on pause. and that not much will happen for the next two to three years. So, yes, development is on hold for the time being. However, this is good for our Downtown market in that we dont see the saturation that some have feared. See a previous 92101 Urban Living blog with these numbers titled: Downtown San Diego Resale Market Analysis. Wilson believes were looking at a substantial pent-up demand brewing in Downtown for-sale housing.
Wilsons confidence gets additional steam from the Downtown rental market and its increasing rents indicating that demand is high. His confidence is also generated from the numbers; the average price per square foot has almost doubled from 2000 to 2007. There will soon be a shortage of units coupled with a thinning number of high-quality development sites and therefore theres every reason to believe that appreciation will continue.
And the trump card? Wilson is secure in the idea that everyday, no matter the market conditions, San Diego will always be able to offer one thing many other cities cannot: Location. Wilson says, It may not be in vogue to be optimistic about the future of Downtown San Diegos housing market. But I am. ')}