San Diego — Developers in the coming year could be putting long-dormant commercial projects into motion in San Diego’s Scripps Ranch neighborhood, as property owners respond to rising demand for office, industrial and retail amenities along the busy Interstate 15 corridor.
San Diego’s Murphy Development and Sudberry Properties are both scouting tenants, aiming to move ahead in 2017 with their separate projects originally announced two years ago.
Developers are betting that after a series of high-profile developments and move-ins in nearby I-15 submarkets — such as Rancho Bernardo, Carmel Mountain Ranch and Miramar — Scripps Ranch is ready for its time in the spotlight.
“Scripps Ranch has been sort of sleepy in terms of new development over the past 15 years, but that’s beginning to change,” said Kaitlin Arduino, executive vice president of Murphy Development.
Land Buy in 2014
Murphy Development in recent years has completed several industrial and office projects in Otay Mesa, but in 2017 it is looking to make progress on a tech-oriented research-and- development campus with industrial and office elements in Scripps Ranch.
In September 2014, Murphy Development purchased 30.9 acres at Scripps Ranch Business Park from chip-maker Intel Corp., which had owned the land off Scripps Ranch Boulevard since 2000 but decided not to build on it.
While Murphy has not divulged what it paid for that land, Arduino said the finished campus, at full buildout of its five finished lots, would total about $200 million in development over the next several years. It is scouting for established technology or other corporate tenants, rather than startups, seeking amenity-rich, creative spaces increasingly in demand by the business community.
Arduino said there has been steady interest in the location. Several firms have made serious inquiries, she said, including Becton, Dickinson and Co., parent of Carefusion Corp., which explored the site recently but ultimately opted not to locate there.
Like other developers — especially in the warehousing and distribution sector — Murphy is seeing rising demand for centralized, freeway-adajcent spaces among industrial and research-and- development tenants, after several years of limited industrial construction countywide.
If local planning approvals are finalized by year’s end or early 2017, Murphy is aiming to begin construction on the Scripps Ranch project’s first building in summer 2017, with the first product to be delivered about 9 to 12 months later.
A recent second-quarter report on local industrial trends, by the brokerage firm Colliers International Group Inc., pointed to rising interest in the I-15 corridor among businesses in technology and other sectors.