Keyser Marston Associates is deeply saddened by the recent passing of Gerald “Jerry” Trimble.
Jerry Trimble was the Managing Principal of KMA’s San Diego office from 1992 to 2013. Prior to this he served as president of the USC Real Estate Development Corporation for five years and was chief executive officer of San Diego’s downtown redevelopment agency, the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC), from 1977-1988.
Jerry played an immensely pivotal role in the rebirth of downtown San Diego. Jerry, along with then San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson and shopping center developer Ernie Hahn, forged a public-private partnership that led to the creation of the world-famous Horton Plaza mixed-use and retail project. Horton Plaza was a groundbreaking endeavor for its time and proved to be the catalyst in the successful revitalization of Downtown San Diego that not only flourished under Jerry’s tenure, but continued to grow after Jerry left CCDC in 1988.
In 2008, a statue was commissioned in his honor, along with Pete Wilson and Ernie Hahn, at Downtown San Diego’s Sofia Hotel. During the award ceremony, Jerry’s remarks included his memories of arriving in San Diego in 1977, when the Downtown was a significantly blighted area. He said, “Shortly after I came to San Diego in 1977, I took my family downtown for a tour. We drove through the Gaslamp Quarter, and I stopped and asked my wife Maxine and my two sons – Michael, who was 10, and Jason, 6 – if they wanted to get out of the car and walk around. They said ‘NO,’ and were not willing to get out of the car. It was a scary place.”
Jerry’s contributions to the fabric of San Diego continued as he led KMA’s San Diego office. At KMA, he specialized in providing technical advice on real estate development transactions to public agencies, private sector clients, and institutional clients. Significant development on which Jerry consulted include the reuse of the Naval Training Center property into Liberty Station, the development of new shopping centers and housing communities in Southeastern San Diego, the Las Americas outlet center in San Ysidro, the San Diego County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa, City Heights Urban Village, and the San Diego Housing Commission’s Smart Corner mixed-use project. KMA San Diego Managing Principal Paul Marra recalls that Jerry was as dedicated and passionate about his efforts to bring revitalization and new investment to older, disadvantaged neighborhoods as he had done for Downtown San Diego.
Regionally Jerry was instrumental in facilitating military base reuse with his consultations on the MCAS El Toro in Orange County, March AFB in Riverside County, and the Tustin Legacy development at the former MCAS Tustin Base. He also served as an advisor for center city and urban in-fill developments in Austin, Houston, Las Vegas, and Oklahoma City.
Jerry was an active member of the Urban Land Institute and served on the Public-Private Council. He was also a charter member and a former President of Lambda Alpha International Land Economics Society San Diego Chapter.
Jerry Keyser, former Board Chairman and founding Principal of KMA, reflected on his 50-plus-year friendship with Jerry. “Jerry Trimble was known for being driven and making challenging projects happen. We worked closely throughout his time at Pasadena, CCDC, and USC, and I was thrilled when he decided to join KMA’s San Diego office in 1992. He earned the respect and admiration of his clients and developers alike. His legacy continues to shine today, not only in the communities where he played such a large role in revitalization and reinvestment, but in the positive, inspiring impact he made in his professional relationships.”
Jerry was driven in his personal life as well. He was an avid runner, swimmer, and skier. He loved travel, the symphony, the arts, and his two Akitas, Kuma and Jobi .
Jerry is survived by his sister, Marilyn Trimble of Santa Cruz; sons Michael and Jason, both of San Diego; and one grandson, Brandon. His beloved wife Maxine passed away in 2022. An obituary outlining his professional achievements as well as details of his enriched family life was recently published in the San Diego Union Tribune and can be accessed here.