Up in the valley

The real-estate development business is booming in Mission Valley, at least on paper. U-T San Diego publisher Douglas Manchester is leading the way with plans to build 200 residential units in the parking lot of the newspaper’s headquarters, but others are hard at work on the drawing boards as well.

Chief among them is Bob Lankford, whose Lankford and Associates, according to a recent filing, is hoping to build an eight-story office building at 1904 Hotel Circle North, on a site currently occupied by a car-rental agency abutting the Riverwalk golf course. To ease the project through city hall, the developer has retained La Jolla lobbyist Matt Peterson, most famous for his successful work on behalf of former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s Barber Tract luxury home teardown.

Meanwhile, word among city influence-peddlers has it that wealthy Republican kingpin Terry Brown is still seeking to unload his massive Town and Country hotel property next to Manchester’s U-T complex. Downtown super lobbyist Paul Robinson has been doing due diligence on the possible transaction for Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group. The company’s hotel collection includes the Terranea resort on the Palos Verdes peninsula, where Marineland used to be.

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Hotel Circle is old and obsolete. The hotels are worn and tired and have been reinvented so many times that they are all (mostly) little better than the local No-Tell Motel. It will take more than Manchester's overpriced condos to overcome the decline of Hotel circle and Mission Valley in general.

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