San Diego Business Journal

Miller Hull Chosen for I.D.E.A. District Project, Will Relocate There

By Lou Hirsh Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The San Diego office of architectural firm Miller Hull Partnership will relocate to a planned new mixed-use office and residential development in East Village, after being chosen by developers to design IDEA1, slated for the downtown area known as the I.D.E.A. District.

Seattle-based Miller Hull currently has its local office on Washington Street off Interstate 5, in the city’s Middletown neighborhood. Financial terms related to the firm’s hiring or upcoming relocation were not disclosed.

Miller Hull has been chosen to design IDEA1 by the project’s developers, Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises and I.D.E.A. Partners LLC of San Diego. Plans call for creative office space, apartments and street-level retail, spanning a full block bounded by E, F, Park and 13th streets.

“This is a major step in the evolution of Upper East Village,” said Mike McNerney, senior vice president of Lowe Enterprises, in a statement. “Miller Hull is exactly the type of creative, innovative firm that the I.D.E.A. District is designed to attract.”

The mixed-use project will anchor a larger 35-block area of East Village known by local planners as the I.D.E.A. District, with elements geared to attracting companies and jobs related to innovation, design, education and the arts.

Developers said Miller Hull will lease 6,000 square feet at IDEA1, sufficient to accommodate its current staff and allow for future growth. Groundbreaking on IDEA1 is scheduled for the first quarter of 2015, after other tenants are announced, with completion expected in the first quarter of 2017.

IDEA1 will occupy a 1.37-acre site acquired by Lowe Enterprises and I.D.E.A. Partners, through a 99-year ground lease from the San Diego Community College District. The proposed five-story, 225,000-square-foot project is expected to include 63,000 square feet of office space, 10,000 square feet of street-level retail and eateries, and 218 apartments surrounding a large interior courtyard.

Tenants have not been announced for another mixed-use project in the same part of East Village, known as Makers Quarter, being developed by a joint venture that includes San Diego-based Lankford & Associates.