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Downtown San Diego will soon add another crane or two to its skyline. And eventually, another tall building.

Plans were unveiled this week for a 34-story travertine and glass office tower to be built at 700 West Broadway, on the northeast corner of Broadway and Pacific Highway. If you’re trying to picture where that is, it’s adjacent to the Santa Fe train depot, where the trolley tracks crisscross.

The design is described as having a “flared crown” at the top, with four “front porches” at ground level.

If you need more in the way of visuals, check out the website designed for the project. It has about 15 minutes of video interviews about the proposed building, 18 renderings from various vantages and even a podcast. In the background of the website, the sky changes from day to night. How’s that for multimedia?

The Irvine Co. commissioned famed architect Henry Cobb to design the high-rise. His credits include the John Hancock Tower in Boston and the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles. The Centre City Development Corp. gets final approval over the design; the presentation this week was before a CCDC subcommittee.

Says Cobb: “This site in San Diego has great importance to the city, because of its relationship to the bay, and its prominent, landmark location at the western entrance to downtown. The site demands and deserves a tower with great presence and integrity.”

The Irvine Co. hopes to begin building in mid-2008, with construction to take about two-and-a-half years. The Irvine Co. already owns a number of prominent downtown buildings, including One America Plaza, Symphony Towers and the Wells Fargo Plaza.

Take a look at the website and share what you think. Is this a worthy addition to the downtown skyline?

JENNIFER McENTEE

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