Sorrento Tower Preservation
- Project Address: 2875 Cowley Way, San Diego, CA 92110
- Project Owner/ Developer: The RAHD Group; P.O. Box 33882; San Diego, CA 92163
- Owner Contact Name/ Email: Colin Rice; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Project Architect/ Designer: Charlie Pick, Basis Architecture and Consulting, Inc.
The rehabilitation of Sorrento Tower highlights three design features that enhance its neighborhood. They are the building, landscaping, and roof.
This 1976 building was given a tremendous transformation which created a new modern look. The former exterior of concrete old siding windows was replaced by sleek green tinted modern windows. The building was also freshly painted and given new signage. These visual improvements stand out prominently on this 14 story structure and offer an improved look for the Claremont neighborhood.
The grounds of Sorrento Tower also received new landscaping design which included a higher quality and variation of flowers and plants. This improved the appearance of the walkway and sitting area.
Atop the roof were existing cell equipment and towers that were unappealing and visible from the street. This equipment was concealed within the architectural design. Today the appearance of the equipment seems like an extension of the building.
Sorrento Tower presented some planning complexities during construction. The plumbing replacement posed challenges because it required a 14-story vertical process.
Work was done on all 14 levels simultaneously with repeated process one stack at a time until the tower was completed. The Resident move-out was coordinated to coincide with the plumbing installation. The entire renovation process for the interior of the units required only 5 days and 4 nights out.
ICON Builders team worked efficiently during this short vacancy period by also replacing the cabinets, finishes, and installing a $1.5 million new window system.
Residents returned home to brand new plumbing, cabinets, bathrooms, kitchens, flooring, paint, appliances, and windows. This work was completed in every unit in a remarkable turnaround of 6 months. The Residents were very happy with the process and the results.
There were many steps taken with a number of government agencies in order to finalize the transaction for Sorrento Tower. Six agencies approved the transaction eight times. The following agencies were involved:
• San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC); approved twice.
• San Diego City Council (SDCC); approved twice.
• California Debt Limit Allocation Committee (CDLAC); approved once.
• California Tax Credit Committee; approved once.
• HUD, Los Angeles; approved once.
• HUD, Washington DC; approved once.
In addition to completing the deal with numerous layers of government, the development team worked closely with agencies so that Sorrento Tower could be the first apartment project to be awarded upgrade rebate dollars. Prior to this, these rebates were given only to single family residences. Along with the State of California, the City of San Diego and the local utility San Diego Gas & Electric, the team was able to provide high-efficiency energy measures as part the Upgrade California Program.
Recently, Upgrade California Program inquired to feature Sorrento Tower and the work done there in their monthly periodical. The project will be highlighted as a model example of what dedicated apartment owners can and should do so that they are a part of California’s green future. More on the project here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN6pLME_4EQ