Tim Foley Could Decide the Future of Downtown Ocean Beach

by on August 2, 2019 · 22 comments

in Ocean Beach

Tim Foley – from business website.

There’s a new sheriff in town – in OB town – and his name is Tim Foley and he could very well determine the future of downtown Ocean Beach.

Who the heck is Tim Foley, you may righteously ask?

He’s the big-time developer who will decide what goes in on that choice 27,000 square feet of land that used to be Nati’s and its parking lot. Sure, part of that decision has already been made, as the folks who own Wonderland are bringing in La Dona, a Mexican restaurant.

Yet Tim Foley is jazzed. Having all that land a block from the Pacific Ocean – wow! He’s excited. In a recent interview with the San Diego Business Journal, he said:

“I like beach areas. This is a crazy location.” As in “good” crazy.

What to do with all that space? The Journal reported:

Ideally, Foley said he’d like to build a hotel and apartment complex, but he said that would depend on pending zoning changes in Ocean Beach.

Foley is quoted:

“If we could build the hotel and (apartment) units with retail, that makes the property a home run. A hotel is badly needed in Ocean Beach.”

Perhaps the mixed use will look like this: FOLEY FINANCIAL CENTER . (Heart of Bankers)  A complete rehab on a four story office building, A new 21,000 sq.ft. ground up office building and 56 new high end luxury apartments with bay view. Construction and completion 2018 and early 2019

As SDBJ reported:

Some retail shops occupy part of the site, and Foley said he hasn’t decided what to do with them. “My original plan was to tear them down, but we may not need to do that,” Foley said.

The new restaurant, La Dona, will be run by the Social Syndicate restaurant group which has signed a 10-year 20-year lease. The eatery is a joint enterprise between Social Syndicate and OB restaurateurs Hoffman Leung, Mina Desiderio and Matt Braun and Judd Braun.

The Journal stated La Dona is “Scheduled to be completed in the fall,” with 2,660 square feet of indoor space with a 1,468 square-foot patio. From our viewpoint that’s way optimistic, knowing the state of the current rehab at the old Nati’s.

Bay View Apartments (Heart of Bankers Hill directly across street from Foley Financial Center) New construction will include 43 functional units including live work apartments and larger penthouse suites with views of San Diego bay.

But it’s clear Foley will have a major influence in the future of downtown OB – as whatever he builds, whether apartments, a hotel, mixed use retail – or all of the above – it will have a huge impact on the few blocks of the neighborhood that hug the cliffs, the pier and the beach.

So, really, just who is Tim Foley?

Foley grew up in LA, went to La Puente High School and “excelled in martial arts, baseball, water polo and swimming”, so you know he’s very competitive. He worked selling cars and working for Atlas Van Lines while attending UCSD and then UC Santa Barbara, where he earned degrees in business economics and psychology and later an MBA.

Another current project: Avanti Apartments in art zone of Northpark, Ca. Ground up development of 19 contemporary apartment homes on Ray Street.

According to his business website:

After graduation he took a job with Xerox Corporation, quickly becoming a top ten salesmen for the entire country. Tim’s love for real estate resurfaced.  He maxed out several student credit cards to purchase his first piece of California real estate (an 800 sq. ft. condominium). When he sold the condo, the profits of his sale sold him on a career in real estate….

He has since diversified his investments to hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, apartments, office buildings, and industrial space; both locally and regionally. He has personally been the operating principle in over 100 different real estate transactions whereby he successfully purchased, rehabbed, stabilized and sold. As of the close of 2017, he owns and operates over 50 different properties in California, Arizona and Texas. (Our emphasis.)

It’s clear that whatever Tim Foley wants, he gets – usually.

(hat tip to Deb Greene)

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

OBKid August 2, 2019 at 1:18 pm

Hotel would be nice, housing even better, as long as not Short Term vacation rentals.


Pete August 4, 2019 at 9:34 am

Hotels are short term rentals. You rent a room per night in a hotel.

This blows my mind. Why do I have to point this out?

Either be against the short term rental, or not. This hate had to stop.


Chris August 5, 2019 at 6:00 am

I think he meant as long as the housing (which he said would be better than a hotel). isn’t a short term rental.


daJohn August 5, 2019 at 8:12 am

Hi Pete,

There clearly designated zones where hotels are allowed. There isn’t really a risk of buying a house somewhere and someone putting up a hotel overnight 6 feet away from your bedroom window, not in the same way as a landlord can just flip to a short term rental.

So just this simple fact is where you are seriously and completely wrong.

Not to mention, hotels have strict regulations on how to keep their guests safe, like fire alarms, fire sprinklers, fire separation between cooking/sleeping areas, seismic safety considerations, etc….

Hotel and short term rental are not the same in many, many ways.

This oversimplification and lack of empathy for people who are against short term rentals is sad.


ZZ August 5, 2019 at 10:40 am

Nothing says empathy like the boomer nimby crowd’s “BUT THEM OUT OF BUSINESS NOW” demands.

“really a risk of buying a house somewhere and someone…”

Won’t someone think about the property values? Why oh why doesn’t someone think about the property values!


Geoff Page August 5, 2019 at 11:56 am
Vern August 6, 2019 at 9:04 am

zz may be more inclined to coastal climes – https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/Port-Arthur_TX


ZZ August 6, 2019 at 11:28 am

Nothing says “progressive grassroots” more than telling people to get out of town.

I think Vern is the one who also says “Proles to Santee, no affordable housing here for thee.” Sorry if I got you confused with another NIMBY boomer living in a million dollar house he paid $85,000 for.


Geoff Page August 6, 2019 at 11:38 am

No, zz, that’s not the point. You wrote “Won’t someone think about the property values? Why oh why doesn’t someone think about the property values!” That ship has sailed her in San Diego and certainly in Point Loma. The point was that there are plenty of places in this country, nice places, that are much more affordable. Read up on Branson, it’s really very nice. Now, I’d never recommend anyone to move to Texas but maybe Vern knows something.


Vern August 6, 2019 at 12:43 pm
Geoff Page August 6, 2019 at 12:56 pm

Unfortunately, you’d need gills to live there, the humidity is pretty amazing. I’ve lived on the Gulf Coast, the East Coast, and in the midwest. The lack of humidity and its attendant clouds of mosquitoes, gnats, and no-seeums makes the price of San Diego well worthwhile.


Vern August 6, 2019 at 2:34 pm

Still, the possibilities are endless. I know quite a few folks who’ve opted out of SD, some to Texas (Austin, Temple and beyond), some back to L.A., some to the Mid-West and a fair number to the likes of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.
To each, I suppose. There’s something for everyone somewhere and anywhere.

Babs August 2, 2019 at 2:21 pm

Bring it ! As long as e he remember the 30 foot height Rule !!


Driftwood August 3, 2019 at 3:07 pm

Really? A hotel in OB? Why ruin an already good thing. OB is the last of the beach towns to get gentrified in San Diego. It’s still got all its flavor from yesteryear. Now put in a hotel and destroy everything that made OB what it is? Garbage.


Craig Klein August 4, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Zoning changes, eh? Well, we will see about that. I sense an attack of the 30 foot height limit may be coming. Let’s all stay on our toes and be ready to resist.


bobo August 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm

I’m sure the good folks on the OBPB will not allow any zoning variances or deviations from the Community Plan to be recommended back to the City. As for what the City approves, who knows!


Rufus August 4, 2019 at 5:51 pm

Check out his corporate website. Very odd. Lots of spelling and punctuation errors. Neighborhoods are misidentified, such as “Northpark, CA” for the North Park neighborhood of San Diego. I also googled his Colorado Springs project and nothing, zip, nada, shows up.

And what’s most interesting, even though there are plenty of specific projects identified but they’re all shown as architectural drawings and not actual photographs of completed projects. One project, Foley Plaza, says they are building 30 luxury apartments in 12 months time. Ya, I don’t think so.

It seems there is a a lot of smoke and mirrors here, with a heavy dose of ego. Many of the projects are named after Foley. He’s a high roller, too. Lives in Fairbanks Ranch.

City planners and OB neighbors….be very, very careful.


Vern August 5, 2019 at 6:38 am

Rufus, interesting observations. The renderings on the Foley website are crude at best (love the Sydney Place Custom Home, so “stone-agey”). Some of the projects are still not on google maps or vague in reality… though, all are so “SoDoSoPa”.
There seems to be an “about Foley” on each page – very Trump-like ego-centricity.
Watch out for the zoning & height limits in OB.
Developers are alway drooling over something in SD & OB is in the cross-hairs.

more Foley stuff below:


Rufus August 5, 2019 at 8:20 am

Trying to stay centrist so our readership doesn’t get skewed….I’ll stay away from the “T” word and say that Foley is presenting a very ego-centric image of himself, not unlike many politicians and developers.

I’m reminded of a lunch stop in Evanston, Wyoming a couple of weeks ago. All the old timey buildings from the 1800s had the owner’s name carved in stone for all perpetuity over the door or high up on the facade. Freud was onto something with this ego thing.

However an inflated sense of self doesn’t mean that these sort of folks get to run roughshod over our laid back little beach town and leave stinking piles of creation with their name over the door.

I am concerned that this project has already gone sideways with the failure of one potential anchor tenant after a year or more of often aimless construction. I patronize one of the existing tenants and they’re in the dark about their future as there is very little communication with their landlord.

It’s all very odd.


Frank Gormlie August 6, 2019 at 10:00 am

We’ve been informed that La Doña has a 20-year lease vs. a 10-year lease.


Debbi August 6, 2019 at 10:19 am

Mr. Foley needs to do the right thing and give the existing tenants who are valued by OB a favorable lease NOW! Unless they would prefer to go elsewhere or close their business.

Not interested in giving him any changes in height, easements, zoning … it’s his place and he knew the law went he went into the deal so he needs to respect that and build something his children can be proud of since this is why he came out of retirement.


Geoff Page August 8, 2019 at 9:39 am

So, Foley bought a condo when he was a college student over 30 years ago by maxing out credit cards and then made $100,000 profit when he sold it. Really? First, if you have enough credit on credit cards as a college student to buy a condo, that condo must not have cost a whole lot. Back in those days, condos were cheap and were considered a poor investment. I find this story of making $100k on a condo sale that long ago more than a little hard to believe.


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