Byline: The Log Staff
SAN DIEGO — The Old Police Headquarters building, located adjacent to Seaport Village in San Diego, is undergoing an extensive restoration and renovation expected to transform the rundown facility into a premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination branded “The Headquarters.”
Originally built in 1939, the property served as the headquarters for the San Diego Police Department until 1987, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
On Oct. 24, Terramar Retail Centers, which holds a 40-year lease with the Port of San Diego on the Old Police Headquarters site, announced that it has advanced construction plans for The Headquarters that will include a $40 million adaptive reuse and renovation of the old facility into an approximately 100,000-square-foot retail, dining and entertainment destination.
Since January, Terramar has been conducting renovation work that will maintain the architectural style of the original building in all of the project details, according to the firm.
Architect David Marshall, president of Heritage Architecture & Planning, a San Diego firm specializing in historical preservation, assisted Terramar with identifying the historic building elements to be restored and reused.
These include 27,500 roof tiles, large and ornate wood doors, ironwork, light fixtures, 20 skylights, windows, 15,000 square feet of historic courtyard pavers and many other design/building elements indicative of the period. Additionally, the former cell block doors that led the way from the prisoner tunnel to the cells will be restored and used as part of an onsite museum that will recreate the old cell block.
“The Headquarters is rich in architectural detail and history, which gives us a wonderful platform on which to build,” said Steve Bowers, CEO of Terramar Retail Centers. “We are reinventing this property as a centerpiece for downtown, offering fine dining from top chefs along with a blend of national and local boutiques in a beautiful setting.
“There is nothing comparable to The Headquarters in the San Diego Bay area,” he added. “It will be a distinctive addition to this district that will have strong appeal to residents and tourists.”
Terramar recently began the next phase of construction, which includes structural reinforcement to bring the building to modern standards, installation of new infrastructure systems and reconfiguration of the building’s interiors to accommodate the new uses.
The renovation project will convert three existing buildings that make up the property into a collection of up to 30 shops and restaurants. Terramar and the project architects will work with the individual retailers and restaurants to incorporate an expression of their brands and identities into the historic facades, according to the developer.
The main courtyard will feature fountains and colorful landscaping. There will be plazas, walkways and areas for outdoor entertainment. The Headquarters will also offer a full-time concierge staff and valet parking.
Construction on The Headquarters is expected to be completed by October 2013. Architectural design is being overseen by Terramar’s senior vice president of development, Alex Liftis; and its vice president of construction, David Ristau. They are working in conjunction with Carrier Johnson, a San Diego-based architectural firm.