Deal unites current building owner Sandor Shapery with Papa Doug Manchester
San Diego, CA — Manchester Financial Group, headed by Papa Doug Manchester, has acquired a 49 percent interest in the 19-story 350,331 square foot former Sempra/SDGE building for a cost of $20 million from a former partner in the property. The transaction unites Sandor Shapery, who has owned the property since 1993, with Papa Doug Manchester. Although knowing each other socially for over 40 years, neither had worked together on a business transaction.
The building, designed by Richard W. Wheeler, opened in 1969 when San Diego Gas & Electric, then an independent utility, moved from the Timken Building at Sixth Avenue and E Street, which it had occupied since 1920. SDG&E sold the building to New England Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1975; New England then sold to Shapery in 1993 for $22 million. The building, which benefits from $40 million in recent upgrades by Sempra and includes most of the furniture and fixtures, will be renamed Manchester Financial Group. The asset will undergo a top-to-bottom reevaluation with the possibility of turning it into a Class A hotel, residential building, retaining its office use, or a combination thereof into what may be San Diego’s first “Lifestyle” live-work-play concept.
“I am excited to work with Papa Doug to transform this building into one of the most esteemed and relevant properties in downtown San Diego,” said Shapery. “Until now I have never worked with Papa Doug and find that he is a great partner and has wonderful ideas. This should prove to be a benefit to both of us.”
“I’m very pleased to partner with Sandy Shapery in the acquisition of this great San Diego building, and I’m pleased to note that Sandy will continue as the Managing General Partner as he has been since he acquired the asset in 1993,” said Manchester. “We look forward to making any and all improvements necessary to attract the very finest in major Class A tenants.”
Shapery noted that potential tenants include the City of San Diego, although the building is not yet being marketed for lease. “The San Diego Union-Tribune has toured the building, and we are waiting for Civic San Diego to revise its residential overlay zone that allows the building to include residential use. As of now, we’re exploring all of our options which may include a repositioning design competition by architectural students,” said Shapery.