Kitchell Development unveils new Del Mar project

Article originally appeared in The Coast News

DEL MAR — The comments were mostly positive at a recent community participation workshop for a proposed mixed-use project on a vacant lot in the south end of the city. Thirty-five residents attended the second and final workshop March 21.

But many residents still have concerns about density, parking, traffic and view blockage.

Del Mar-based Kitchell Development Company initially planned to build a boutique hotel at 941 Camino del Mar, on a parcel once home to a gas station but more recently referred to as the Garden Del Mar site, named for a previously approved office and retail complex that died on the vine.

Development team member Marne Bouillon describes the features of the latest development proposed for the old gas station site in the south end of Del Mar at a recent workshop seeking community input. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

Based on input from the first workshop in January 2017, Kitchell submitted an application for a two-story “flexible-use” project that will include office, retail and potential restaurant space and “residential hospitality” units.

Don Glatthorn, Kitchell vice president, described the latter as condominiums that would be sold to individual owners who could live there or rent them out full or part time.

Because the development will have an on-site manager and full concierge service, Glatthorn said the units could provide “worry-free second homeownership.”

Unlike a hotel condo, he said, the units could be used for permanent residency because they will be slightly bigger and have kitchens.

The latest design also features a floral or garden shop that would feature a coffee bar, wine bar and/or small-plates kitchen with intertwined seating that could be rented for private parties.

Two units will be deemed affordable. There will be underground parking.

Concerns raised at the first workshop included height, view blockage and noise from late-night activities.

In response, the developer said the proposed height and mass would be similar to what was approved for Garden Del Mar, and the project was not expected to be a late-night destination.

One resident at the second workshop said the two front buildings would completely block his or her primary ocean, scenic and city views.

Kitchell representatives said the roof design will be lowered in certain areas to address view blockage, and the effect on neighboring views will be further evaluated as part of the formal application.

Courtesy rendering

“We would like it to be zero impact, but obviously, when you put a building anywhere it’s going to have some impact on some people,” Glatthorn said.

Six attendees praised the project, with one saying it “looks beautiful and will be a wonderful improvement to our community.”

Another asked that the development be built as soon as possible.

“I am a neighbor who is tired of looking into this terrible empty lot,” another person wrote.

“The general concept makes a lot more sense than the previous project,” resident Betty Wheeler said. “It’s a good location for hybrid residential and short-term rentals. The devil, of course, is in the details.”

Glatthorn said vacation rentals would have to go through the on-site manager and not online booking sites such as Airbnb.

The project will be developed under a specific plan, which requires voter approval. Glatthorn said he would like to get it on the November ballot, but he said that’s an aggressive goal.

Approvals are also required from Del Mar’s Planning Commission, Design Review Board and City Council, as well as the California Coastal Commission.

At best, Glatthorn said, it will be at least two to three years before groundbreaking.

Ethan Langan, Del Mar’s assistant planner, said the recent workshop is just the beginning of a long process.

“There will be many other opportunities for feedback,” he added.

“It’s looking very pretty,” said Deborah Lyon, who lives behind the proposed development.

Kitchell breaks ground on industrial park

AZRE recently highlighted the Kitchell industrial park development under construction near Sky Harbor International Airport. The project includes two class “A” general industrial buildings and marks Kitchell’s re-entrance into the industrial development landscape, a key segment of Kitchell’s future business portfolio. The full text of the story is below.

Industrial-Park-rendering

Kitchell recently commenced construction on the expansion of an industrial park near Sky Harbor International Airport, consisting of two class “A” general industrial buildings comprising 212,000 square feet.

Located on roughly 20 acres near Interstate 10 and 28th Street in Phoenix, the development is south of Sky Harbor, with primary frontage along Interstate 10 offering excellent visibility and access to the airport. The two buildings will be 97,000 square feet and 115,000 square feet, and will join a 17,500-square-foot, two-story office/warehouse building that was recently leased to Super Shuttle International on a long-term basis.  The site perimeter features a 10-foot wrought iron security fence and the development will be able to accommodate high security uses. The contemporary project incorporates soft grays, tans and earthen reds in ribbed horizontal metal and smooth concrete panels, which break down the buildings into smaller masses.

“The Sky Harbor area continues to perform very well,” said Kitchell Senior Development Director Ryan Cochran. “It’s the most sought-after submarket in metropolitan Phoenix and barriers to entry for new development are, and will remain, very high. We see this as a quality long-term asset.”

The development includes two improved pads that are available for sale or build-to-suit, each able to accommodate a 10,000 to 15,000-square-foot building, storage yard and ample parking.

Each tenant will have a 4’ x 29’ internally illuminated sign panel on one of two multi-tenant wall signs facing Interstate 10 and Sky Harbor Airport, allowing companies to market to the estimated 220,000 cars that drive by the site every day, as well as to airport traffic.

The building shell is expected to be complete by December 2016.

According to CBRE’s most recent industrial market report, availability of industrial space in the United States declined in the first quarter of 2016 to the lowest level since 2001, and rents remain on an upward trajectory.

Scottsdale-based Aspen Group (Don Meyers and Jay Donnelly, principals), an active developer of shopping centers and master-planned communities, is a partner in the venture.

The Phoenix-based project team consists of architect Butler Design Group and general contractor hardison/downey construction inc. CB Richard Ellis’ John Werstler and Cooper Fratt are handling leasing and marketing. Wells Fargo is the lender.

The project represents Kitchell’s return to industrial development after a decade-long hiatus. The company developed an adjacent property named Riverpoint Business Park, consisting of 32 acres of office and industrial product including two high-rise buildings that serve as University of Phoenix’s online headquarters.

“We’ve focused on other product types for the past decade, but we see industrial development as a key segment of our business in the future,” Cochran said. “We’ve seen firsthand how much the shopping center landscape has changed. In many ways, warehouse development is the future of retail.”

Kitchell has a long history of successful retail and office developments, including Prescott Crossroads, Mountain Ranch Marketplace and several successful multifamily properties in partnership with Mark-Taylor.