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San Diego
Thursday, May 30, 2024

Commercial—Art, architecture work together on plaza project

An unconventional relationship between San Diego artists and architects has been forged to help bring a spirit of community and commonality to the Downtown area.

Market Creek Plaza, an innovative mixed-use commercial development project at the intersection of Market Street and Euclid Avenue, hopes to contribute to a better community by fusing the talents of locals in the production of a useful, attractive building.

The first phase of planned construction of Market Creek Plaza will be completed in spring 2001 with the opening of a $4 million, 59,000-square-foot Food 4 Less supermarket and its amphitheater.

The next four phases of construction includes food court, retail shops, restaurants, office space, and a multi-screen movie theater.

The arts and design team of Market Creek Plaza, a team composed of artists, architects and residents, will work together to create a unique look that reflect the diversity of the community.

The Jacobs Center for Nonprofit Innovation, developer of Market Creek Plaza and an action arm of the Jacobs Family Foundation, has contributed much to the creativity of the project.

“Community art is how we define ourselves,” said Jennifer Vanica, executive director of the Jacobs Center. “We want there to be a sense of the world meeting to get this piece of work done together.”

Hector Reyes, senior designer for San Diego-based Fehlman LaBarre, has been working on this team since its inception.

“We’re attempting to create a sense of community,” Reyes said. “This is not just some buildings with historical reference. The approach we’re taking with Market Creek Plaza may be emulated in other places, but will remain unique in each community.”

Reyes is working with well-known Chicano mural painter Victor Ochoa to get the community involved in the creation of the center. Many residents have contributed items symbolic of their cultural heritage for placement in the development, including books, paintings and textiles.

“This process is community-driven,” Reyes said. “The vision for Market Creek Plaza is that of a festive place where multicultural heritage comes alive with sound, color and visual performances. We also realized that we would be setting an important precedent. Market Creek Plaza is full of unconventional ideas , not standard solutions.”

Construction of Market Creek Plaza is still in the early stages and architects are creating finished prototypes for their contributions to the project.

These contributions reflect ethnic diversity, which includes a pyramid-shaped parking garage showing Mayan and Egyptian influences, pagoda-type rooflines, a clock-tower with Mexican and Native American imagery, a state-of-the-art office building with a vertical, curved fa & #231;ade with cultural imagery and drawings.


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