San Diego Business Journal

The San Diego Community College District has selected Lowe Enterprises and locally based I.D.E.A. Partners to develop a proposed $90 million mixed-used project in East Village, which would include office space, apartments, retail shops and restaurants.

A statement from Lowe Enterprises said the 1.37-acre project is designed as a catalyst for the larger 95-acre, 38-block I.D.E.A. District, envisioned by local planners as a downtown hub for design and technology-oriented businesses with lifestyle elements appealing to young urban professionals.

I.D.E.A. Partners includes San Diego developers Pete Garcia and David Malmuth, who have been working for several years with downtown business and community leaders to create the I.D.E.A District, combining innovation, design, education and the arts.

Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises is currently overseeing the multiphase, $500 million County Operations Center and Annex project in Kearny Mesa.

The developers’ East Village mixed-use project is planned for a full city block bounded by E, F, Park and 13th streets, under a long-term ground-lease arrangement with the community college district. Lowe and I.D.E.A. Partners envision a building that would include an atrium, an open courtyard, and “active community gathering areas” to be programmed with events and activities.

The project is designed by the San Diego office of architecture firm Gensler, and would include “creative office space” with large, open floor plans, high ceilings and “roll-up” walls, the statement said. The development would be located near the Smart Corner transit center to the northwest and the proposed East Village Green municipal park to the southeast.

The developers are in talks with “several major design and technology companies” for the office space, the statement said. Design and development plans are being finalized, and construction is expected to begin in 2014.

— SDBJ Staff Report