401 W. Ash Street
  • 401 W. Ash Street
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A developer has scaled down a hotel project at 401 W. Ash Street, previously approved last September by Civic San Diego. The reason for the downsizing was due to the developer's difficulty in obtaining financing for the original, larger-size project.

The board of CivicSD approved the amended plans at its February 25 meeting, the last board meeting attended by outgoing president Jeff Graham.

Hotel design

JR Legacy Holdings, LLC had originally planned to build a 23-story, 268-feet-high hotel with 407 rooms. Total hotel space would have been 241,905 square feet. The new hotel will now rise to 183 feet, have 239 rooms, and take up 151,248 square feet of space.

Michele Vives with Tucker Sadler Architects, Inc. said the project should start construction in “early fourth quarter 2014.” It will be “an independent hotel, single brand — no brand affiliation — with approximate total cost of $72 million,” said Vives in an interview.

There will be about 3900 square feet of street-level retail space and 127 parking spaces located on two levels of subterranean parking. A parking lot now occupies the 19,981-square-foot parcel at the southwest corner of Ash and State streets.

The hotel is in full compliance with allowed uses in the Core District. It will meet the required 15-foot view-setback rule, which will maintain views of San Diego Bay. It will have a 2000-square-foot plaza that will front on Ash Street.

Though now smaller, the hotel's design has not changed. Besides a restaurant, café, fitness center, and meeting space, the hotel will offer 24-hour valet parking. The revised plan will have LEED Silver Certification.

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viewer March 4, 2014 @ 5:51 p.m.

Is there a reason why the image was chose for the speaking of this modernization of San Diego? As modernization moves forward in time; the image shows set-back in time. Looking behind the FedEx Van.


dwbat March 4, 2014 @ 7:09 p.m.

The photo doesn't send any message. It's just a shot I took of the parking lot where the hotel will be constructed.


dwbat March 4, 2014 @ 7:32 p.m.

I have been a photographer for more than 40 years.


Visduh March 4, 2014 @ 8:43 p.m.

To end the sparring here, my interpretation of the photo was that a red, 1960's-vintage Ford Falcon Ranchero was stopped behind that FedEx truck. Such a vehicle would not have appeared out of place in the 60's or into the 70's, but now it is a rare vehicle indeed, perhaps a collector's car. We can only wonder why the photo caught that particularly unusual vehicle in downtown SD. Coincidence? Perhaps, but since I don't think that many coincidental things are purely by chance, I doubt that this photo just happened.

So, dwbat, 'fess up to your photo.


dwbat March 4, 2014 @ 8:53 p.m.

Nope, I paid no attention whatsoever to the Ford Falcon. I was instead concentrating on getting a shot to cover most of the site. Here's a pic taken from the other angle, before the FedEx truck drove up. [The driver went into Taco Express for lunch!]


Visduh March 5, 2014 @ 9:41 a.m.

Well, there it is, parked at the curb. Highly unusual sight.


dwbat March 5, 2014 @ 7:56 p.m.

Actually it IS the same vehicle. It's at the far left in this photo. I shot the photo, remember?


Burwell March 4, 2014 @ 11:27 p.m.

High rise hotels, as an industry segment, have not been profitable since the late 1960s. Hotels that attempt to operate without a national brand have extremely high foreclosure rates. Hotels that don't want to pay a 5% royalty for a national brand lack access to global reservation systems and as a result suffer low occupancy rates. This project is probably undercapitalized. Hence the need to cut the number of rooms.


dwbat March 5, 2014 @ 4:30 a.m.

The original project was to be a dual-branded hotel, a growing trend in the industry. In those projects, two hotels in the same corporate family (such as a Courtyard by Marriott and a Residence Inn) share the building. This reportedly results in cost-savings, and offers guests a varied choice of rooms. The U-T just reported that a dual-branded hotel will be going up at the northeast corner of Broadway and North Harbor Drive.


Matt101 March 5, 2014 @ 1:21 p.m.

Is the implication that Marriott favored the Broadway/North Harbor location and chose that developer/franchisor over the one at the Ash Street location?


dwbat March 5, 2014 @ 2:49 p.m.

I don't have the answer to that question, as I don't know which hotel chain was going in at the original dual-brand hotel project on Ash. My guess is that the Broadway/North Harbor location will be preferred by the majority of tourists.


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