Nautilus Professional Building converting to luxury apartments in La Jolla

The former Nautilus Professional Building at 6902 La Jolla Blvd. — which was built in 1964 and has traditionally housed dental and other medical offices — will reopen in early 2019 as a mixed-use luxury apartment complex with 15 one- and two-bedroom rentals, all with ocean views, and street-level retail space.

The 18,330-square-foot property — also known as 470 Nautilus St. — was sold last November by Lsref4 Dual LLC, a privately held Dallas, Texas company, to a San Diego concern called Hillcrest Veritas L.P. for $9.15 million along with the adjacent commercial building at 6980 La Jolla Blvd.

Hillcrest Veritas, the Light has learned, is the real-estate investment subsidiary of the Murfey Company, the contractor that began the building’s multimillion-dollar renovation in April.

“We specialize in development, investment and construction,” said president Russ Murfey, who co-owns the company with his brother, Scott. “We build, own and operate multi-home properties.”

Murfey, who grew up with his brother in Bird Rock, described the former Nautilus Professional Building as “a blight for well over 20 years.”“I’ve probably driven by this building a couple hundred thousand times,” he said. “The previous owners essentially did nothing. Just making a positive visual impact in the neighborhood and creating a new vibe in the area I think is important.”

Murfey said that parking spaces for the new residential tenants would be in the back. “I don’t know the exact count right now, but more than one space per unit,” he said.

Former office tenants whose leases were not renewed include dentists Drs. Tiffany Phi and Gerald Miyamoto, who relocated their joint practice to Carlsbad, and Dr. Nick Pavlov, who relocated his to Vista.

The Light couldn’t reach them for their opinion about the conversion. However, it did reach another former tenant who described herself as “very happy” about it.

“I think it’s great for the community,” said Sara Sas, who operated the Holistic Traditions acupuncture clinic out of the Nautilus Professional Building from 2002-2010. Sas, a WindanSea resident, said she moved her business to her current location (7759 Herschel Ave., Suite B) because the Nautilus Professional Building was “disgusting” and because “rats and trash were piling up.”

“Honestly, years ago, I had a gentleman say, ‘Oh, you’re in the building that needs to be torn down,’” Sas added.

Murfey said that 6980 La Jolla Blvd., which has housed the Liquor Box for years, will get some “sprucing up, but not a heavy renovation,” and a representative for the Liquor Box confirmed that the local institution would remain there for the foreseeable future. (That building was built in 1970 with 6,758 square feet of space and, according to Murfey, was “always owned” together with its next-door neighbor.)

Ground-floor retail space at the former Nautilus Professional Building — previously occupied by retail tenants including Elegance Nails & Spa and La Jolla Cleaners — will return to “retail or some sort of commercial use,” Murfey said, adding that its 5,000 square feet can go either to one big store or several small ones.

“Our goal is to find a cool, creative, neighborhood-serving use that people are going to be proud of and something they can frequent as part of the community,” Murfey said, adding that Flocke & Avoyer Commercial Real Estate is currently seeking takers.

Murfey said he has no name for the renovated building yet, but is thinking of “something centered on Nautilus or the local beach community.” He said he’s open to suggestions.

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