95,000 square feet of retail
280,000 square feet of office
608 residential units
Almost every day, I drive by a construction site for a new development called One Paseo on the corner of Del Mar Heights Rd. And El Camino Real. It looks like it will be pretty amazing, and instantly my mind starts to wander with questions. A few weeks ago, I was so curious, that I reached out to Paul Komadina from CBRE and he invited me down to the brand new CBRE office in UTC to talk about their new office, and introduce me to Carrie Bobb who he explained would answer all of my questions. Check out my video interview with Paul and Carrie, and see for yourself how One Paseo will change the San Diego community:
Amanda: Hey everyone. It’s Amanda with the San Diego Lifestyle. I’m here in Carmel Valley, right across from the new project, One Paseo. I was intrigued. I had to find out more information. I searched and found some incredible people to interview.
It led me to UTC to talk with Paul Komadina. He led me through one of his amazing corporate offices. He talked with me about the project. He also introduced me to Carrie. You’ll find out more about her. They both had a lot to say about the One Paseo project. First, I want you to know all about this amazing new office that they have in UTC. Let’s talk to Paul and hear all about the new UTC CBRE office.
I have Paul Komadina here with me. Tell me a little bit about who you are and where we are.
Paul: I’m Paul Komadina. I’m Managing Director for CBRE San Diego. We’re a global commercial real estate advisory firm based in Los Angeles. We have a significant presence all around the world with 400 offices. We have three offices here in San Diego. We’re sitting in our largest office here at Westfield UTC. We serve two main clients. We serve owners of real estate across all product types. We also serve tenants who occupy real estate with small, medium and large companies, and everything in between.
Amanda: You just moved in here about six weeks ago.
Paul: Yes. We’ve been in San Diego for many years. We were across the street at The Plaza for the last 32 years. We made the transition here to Westfield about six weeks ago after a three-year planning development and construction process. It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s been an amazing six weeks.
Amanda: Tell me some things about this office. I took a mini tour. Tell me some of the amazing features.
Paul: There are a lot of things that people have been excited about. First, we’re located in the premier shopping destination in Southern California in UTC. We have 1.3 million square feet of amenities right outside our backdoor, including a new flagship Nordstrom, and many other world-class retailers. Access to amenities, shopping and restaurants is number one. Second, a focus on hospitality is critical for us. It starts with the arrival to the office. We utilize a fully appointed valet out front.
Amanda: That experience was wonderful.
Paul: Our employees and guests utilize the valet. It’s all about welcoming people. Walking into the space, we have two full-time concierge that are here to manage the employee and guest experience. They make sure that you everything you need to be successful throughout your day. We’re sitting in the heart of our roughly 4,000 square foot lobby with 17-foot ceilings and 12-foot glass.
Amanda: It’s so open and bright with natural light.
Paul: We host a lot of events for employees and clients. We built a large lobby so that we can host all of those events here and bring people together. It’s not only for ourselves, but also to bring the community into our home. We have a number of events on the calendar over the next 90 days.
The community will be using our space to entertain. For us, it’s a great opportunity to become one with the community. Technology has been a huge element. We have a nine-screen media wall behind us where we can recognize employees and run Final Four games. We have four places in the office where we can open 12-foot high glass, 15 feet wide into the outdoors. We can bring the outdoors in. It’s been a game changer for people.
Amanda: Being able to get air in the building instead of just looking at it from inside makes a difference.
Paul: San Diego is such a wonderful place to be with an incredible climate. To not be able to be part of it throughout the work day is a lost opportunity. It’s a great chance for us to bring it in.
Amanda: It’s amazing that you saw and understood that coming into this building. How long did it take to build?
Paul: From the start of construction to move in, it was just shy of six months. From the initial idea to moving in was about a three-year process. A significant portion of that was going from a traditional office environment to an environment where not one single person, regardless of tenure or title, has an assigned workspace.
Getting people ready to live in a paperless environment where they’re living out of a backpack and don’t have personal space is a big change from what they’re used to. A lot of the three years was spent getting them prepared for this new environment. It’s been really rewarding. It’s a process that brought us to where we are today.
Amanda: It’s crucial because that’s where the world is going now. It’s paperless. I also noticed the desks where you can sit down or stand up, and change it with the push of a button. That is amazing.
Paul: There is a push within our company, and the world, to focus on wellness. We had a health and wellness committee that helped drive a lot of the things that are part of this office. Electronic sit/stand desks are really important. I can think of a handful of people in the office that, in the six weeks that we’ve been here, have not sat down one second. By and large, people are standing 30% to 50% of the time. That’s been a huge element that people are enjoying.
Amanda: I’m surprised by that. I like to sit down when I work.
Paul: Having the flexibility is the key.
Amanda: I take a break, get up and walk around. I’m sure it helps you focus and stay on track more. You’re able to get up and move, and still stay on task.
Paul: Our whole thesis is, how do we design a workplace that fits the way people work today and makes them more efficient, better at what they do and have more fun with what they do? People are able to sit, stand or move around the office. They can be mobile and work in the heart of the office, from a coffee shop, work station or private office. You need to have the flexibility to do it. That was the driving force behind the move.
Amanda: I was a little bit intimidated downstairs when I saw the big, neon CBRE sign. I didn’t know if I should go in or not. Do you welcome the public in or is this more for the people who work here?
Paul: First and foremost, it’s a place where people go to work. It’s primarily for our employees and clients. One of the things that we thought about was, when we move to a very public place like a mall, we’re going to have more people stop in. We’ve welcomed people who happened to stumble into our space.
They asked, “What do you do? Tell me about your space?” We’re welcoming all people to come through whenever they want. First and foremost, it is a place of business. We’re navigating some nuances that we’re not used to. Overall, it’s been great so far.
Amanda: This office is a step above the rest. What’s your message to people who are working in real estate or other closely related fields? What do you want them to know about this space?
Paul: In today’s environment, it’s about recruiting and retaining the best people. That could be in sales, financing, property management or a host of other things. If there are people working for other companies and industries who have an interest in anything associated with commercial real estate, our goal is to be an employer of choice.
A significant element of being an employer of choice is, what is your work place like? What’s the culture that it fosters? Based on our move here, we want it to be an opportunity to recruit and retain the best talent. If there are people out there who have an interest in commercial real estate and are looking for a new opportunity, we’re always open to entertaining new ideas about how we can incorporate the best talent into our firm.
Amanda: Do those agents come and talk to one person? Is it you? Are there different teams?
Paul: There are a lot of avenues. We’re a big company. I can always be a starting place for anyone. I may not have all the answers, but I can find the right people who have the answers.
Amanda: Do you have any final words about this amazing office here?
Paul: It’s been an amazing journey. People are resilient. Sometimes you have to challenge them beyond what they’re comfortable with. Sometimes they don’t realize what they want until they have it. Putting together a really good project plan, crafting the vision and showing how you’re going to achieve that vision has been a challenge with this project.
For me personally, that’s the part that’s been the most rewarding in getting people to where we are today. The impact of this space, the location, the design, all of the elements, and the impact on our people and our culture have been incredible. It has exceeded all of our expectations.
Amanda: It impacts the community as well. I can’t wait for your next public event. Thank you so much for your time today, Paul. If anyone wants to stop by and ask Paul a few questions, he’s welcoming you to do that.
Paul: Thank you.
Amanda: It was nice to talk with Paul about the CBRE office that’s open in UTC. I know what you’re dying to know about is the One Paseo project. I sat down with Carrie Bobb to learn about the details and how it will impact our fabulous San Diego community.
We’re here with Carrie Bobb. She’s an incredible lady. I want to talk to you about what’s going on in San Diego, these mixed-use spaces and how it all ties together. There’s so much going on.
Carrie: This project is amazing. Westfield had done an amazing job tying it all together. Everything is beautiful. I love our office. It’s where everything is going today with the best office projects and the best retails projects. The lines are being blurred. It’s all being tied together. That’s the essence of One Paseo.
Amanda: People keep asking me about it. I drive by almost every day. What is it exactly?
Carrie: It’s retail, office and residential. There is 95,000 square feet of retail, 280,000 square feet of office and 608 residential units. Every aspect of it is absolutely beautiful. They’re executing flawlessly on each segment. The residential is beautiful. The office is cutting edge. The retail is softer with a heavy emphasis on place making experiential retail.
Amanda: What is place making?
Carrie: The idea is that it’s a cool place to hang out with great shops and great restaurants. It’s more about how you feel when you’re there, evoking emotion and being in a cool place where you want to hang out with your friends and family. We’re picturing people in Carmel Valley in their neighborhoods standing on their driveway on a Friday night. The kids are running around. They’re saying, “What do we want to do tonight?” They say, “We’ll go to One Paseo and figure it out when we get there.”
Amanda: With the different mixed uses, will there be people living there, too?
Amanda: It’s not just another mall.
Carrie: It’s definitely not a mall. It’s small. It’s only 95,000 square feet. It’s very quaint and charming. It’s executed really well. Great restaurants and retailers are coming. We’re waiting to announce a few things. I wish I could tell you now. You will love it. It’s going to be great. I’m proud to be working on it.
Amanda: Did you have the vision for One Paseo and then it was about finding the location, or did you have this location and you didn’t know what to do with it?
Carrie: Kilroy is the developer. Their inspiration and vision for the retail part is a country mart. The inspiration is the Malibu Country Mart in the Bay Area. It’s almost like 12 to 14 different barn-type cottages across the property. You make little discoveries as you walk through the project. It’s not linear. You have to wander and meander. There are great common spaces, like the kid’s playground area. It is hollowed out trees. Kids can crawl in and out of them. Adults can do it, too. They have mason jar lighting hanging above the tables. Every detail has been thought through.
Amanda: People are wondering about traffic and parking. How will everyone get there? Have you addressed some of those things? How has the planning been going with that?
Carrie: The parking deck is done. There are many different points of entry. The access is really simple. Everyone goes into the parking deck at the entrance of the project. All paths lead to the parking deck. There is a high-tech system that tells you how many minutes for short-term parking, how many spaces are full and free. They’re trying to make it as easy as possible.
Amanda: I think it will be a benefit to people. As the community grows, this is another option that people have. They can shop and hang out. It’s for the better. Many people were nervous about it coming in. Was there something else planning on going in that space before they decided on that?
Carrie: The retail aspect of the project is really different than what was planned five to seven years ago. It’s been scaled down significantly. The design is so different. The people who were fearful of traffic are going to love hanging out there. The aesthetic and design of what they’ve done with the country mart, people who are in attendance have a change in body language. They lean in to see more. They’ve done a great job on the design.
Amanda: Has the business population been excited about this space?
Amanda: It’s packed in there already.
Carrie: We are merchandising it for the residents, too. The office and retail are close. The office and retail tenants tie in. The restaurants can cater to the office, much like they did here.
Amanda: It’s been amazing coming here today to visit this office. There’s so much going on in UTC right now. San Diego is booming. It’s growing and growing. I think it’s great. We have a problem with not enough houses. Hopefully we’re addressing that a bit. Is there anything else that you wanted to say about One Paseo? When will it be done?
Carrie: We’re shooting for March 2019 for a grand opening. We’re moving fast. I’m excited for you to shop there.
Amanda: Me too. I live right down the road. I will be there. Thank you so much, Carrie, for talking with me about One Paseo.