EMMES Realty Services of California LLC’s Downtown San Diego Office Building Wins Landscape Architecture Award for Use, Design of Indoor and Outdoor Space

701B Project Reflects Office Trends in a Pandemic-Era Environment

EMMES’ award-winning downtown office building, 701B, features an ‘urban oasis’ plaza design that welcomes tenants and guests. (Photo: Business Wire)

SAN DIEGO--()--As tenant demand for more space and fresh air rises – especially in the midst of a pandemic – commercial real estate companies are finding more creative ways to give workers a seamless indoor-outdoor connection.

One such company is EMMES Realty Services of California LLC, who even before the pandemic hit, was reimagining the future office space environment. In fact, one of EMMES’ downtown buildings, 701B, recently garnered a Landscape Architecture Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), San Diego for its unique use and design of indoor-outdoor space. 701B, which has received numerous awards for its multi-million dollar lobby renovation, includes indoor/outdoor features, greets tenants and guests with a spectacular, cascading water wall and provides spaces to gather formally and informally within the completely reimagined interior lobby, new cafe, or in the outdoor “urban oasis.”

“As designers, we have already been looking for ways to improve connectivity between people in the workplace,” said Kari Kikuta, director of landscape architecture for LPA, architect for the 701B lobby and landscape design. “Now with COVID-19, there’s an added incentive for building owners to create these spaces because they provide work areas with fresh air and allow for social distancing.”

The award-winning “urban oasis” design of the 701B plaza is a welcome addition to the city’s core business district with an inviting design that welcomes tenants and guests. Kikuta added that the plant materials selected reflect the idea of a respite in the middle of a busy downtown while simultaneously having low water use requirements to support a sustainable/low maintenance planting design.

“EMMES recognizes the value that landscape architecture can bring to its properties and that type of investment is really a commitment to the tenants,” Kikuta said.

For today’s office buildings, creating curb appeal by providing usable outdoor spaces and extending the indoors out is also an added amenity that is attractive to existing and future tenants.

“The 701B plaza shows how small urban spaces can have a big impact,” Kikuta said. “As we see a drive for more flexible work environments and work/life balance, we have seen that providing these amenities – being able to work outdoors, connecting to nature, and bringing some of the elements of life to work, improves the mental and physical health and wellness of the users. Happy employees equal more productive teams. As we enter into a post-COVID-19 environment, we see the requests for connections to useful exterior environments only increasing.”

701B – a center of commerce and finance within downtown San Diego – is a Class A, 24-story office building with expansive views. In addition to striking architecture, best-in-class amenities and an impressive lobby, 701B is within walking distance of the newest generation of downtown’s residential high rises and civic destinations such as City Hall, Symphony Hall, the opera, and new Central Library.

“As the pandemic has forced the adoption of new ways of working, EMMES is helping its tenants reimagine the role of offices by creating safe, productive, and enjoyable environments for employers and employees. We believe our indoor-outdoor spaces such as the one at 701B is testament to that,” said Christine Takara, EMMES director of customer experience.


EMMES Realty Services of California LLC is a member of The EMMES Group of Companies. Founded in 1992, with offices in New York and California, The EMMES Group of Companies and its affiliates are engaged in principal real estate investments, funds management and real estate services. For more information, visit www.emmesco.com.

About LPA

Founded in 1965, LPA specializes in creating innovative environments that work better, do more with less and improve people’s lives. An integrated design firm with six locations in California and Texas, LPA’s team includes more than 400 in-house architects, master planners, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects and research analysts, working across a wide array of sectors. For more information, visit lpadesignstudios.com.


Neal Leavitt, Leavitt Communications, 760/639-2900, neal@leavcom.com


Neal Leavitt, Leavitt Communications, 760/639-2900, neal@leavcom.com