Pete Garcia and David Malmuth - I.D.E.A. District

Pete Garcia and David Malmuth in San Diego Magazine’s 50 People to Watch in 2012

Art and design as… job creators? Yes, and the concept is key to the future success of downtown San Diego according to developers David Malmuth and Pete Garcia.

When you ask Garcia what kind of companies he hopes the I.D.E.A. District will attract to the upper East Village, you can tell that he’s a big thinker by his response. “Apple,” he says. Together, this duo is determined to develop a creative live-work-play community. The idea is to focus on the economic opportunities created by the design sector—architecture, art, digital design, media—and build residential and commercial spaces that will inspire these kinds of industries to spawn, and stay, in downtown San Diego.

See the story in San Diego Magazine.

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Navarra Family Names Developers for Five-Block Project

SAN DIEGO – The Navarra Family, owner of Jerome’s Furniture, has named Lankford & AssociatesPortman Holdings and Phelps Development as master developers of a five-block property dubbed the I.D.E.A. (Innovation, Design, Education and Art) District that includes a four-and-a-half-acre park and several other blocks in Upper East Village of San Diego. The Navarra Upper East Village properties include full or partial ownership in five different city blocks between F Street and Broadway and bordered by 14th, 15th, and 16th Streets.

Read the article from

Gate Opens to Design District in East Village

The economy permitting, efforts to turn San Diego’s Upper East Village into a design-focused business district, potentially bringing thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in new construction to the downtown neighborhood, could be moving from visioning to development in coming months.

The Navarra family, longtime owners of the locally based Jerome’s Furniture, recently selected a three-member team of companies to master-develop five properties that it owns in an area roughly bounded east to west by 14th and 16th Streets, and north to south by Broadway and G Streets.

Read the article from the San Diego Business Journal.


East Village Plan Biggest Since Petco Park

Manhattan has its Upper East Side and downtown San Diego could boast an “Upper East Village,” if a new development team succeeds in carrying out an ambitious plan, being announced Thursday, that would be downtown’s biggest undertaking since Petco Park.

Jerry Navarra, chairman of Jerome’s Furniture, has picked a team headed by Rob Lankford of Lankford & Associates, and including I.D.E.A. Partners Pete Garcia and David Malmuth, for the multi-year effort that could result in nearly 3 million square feet of new residences, shops, hotels and office buildings tailored for high-tech design, innovation and education pursuits.

The Lankford team outshone others because of broader experience, especially with buildings for innovative high-tech companies; Lankford’s recent corporate move to downtown; and the addition of the Malmuth-Garcia partnership with its I.D.E.A. District concept.

Read the article from the Union-Tribune.

Proposed Upper East Village project described as ‘transformative’

A massive project called Upper East Village could transform part of downtown San Diego, and developers say financing may not be “a bridge too far.”

The development — that in theory could generate 10,000 jobs and $1.8 billion in new construction — would be built on five blocks (including one 120,000-square-foot “superblock’) largely owned by the Navarra family, of Jerome’s Furniture fame.
The blocks are bounded by F Street and Broadway and bordered by 14th, 15th and 16th streets.

If the blocks, now occupied by hundreds of thousands of square feet of warehouses (with roughly 20 tenants holding short-term leases) are built to their maximum potential, some 2.94 million square feet of mixed-use development could be constructed there over the next 10 to 12 years.

The Navarra family has selected Lankford & Associates, Portman Holdings and Phelps Development, who have formed a limited liability company called LPP, to develop the project.

Click here to read the article from the San Diego Daily Transcript.

Navarra Family Selects Master Developer for Mixed-Use District Focused on Innovation, Design, Technology, Education and the Arts

SAN DIEGO – The Navarra family, owners of Jerome’s Furniture, has selected Lankford & Associates, Portman Holdings, and Phelps Development (who have formed a limited liability company called LPP) to be the Master Developer of its five-block property as the catalyst for a larger transformational project area, dubbed the I.D.E.A. (Innovation, Design, Education and Art) District, that includes a four-and-a-half-acre park and several other blocks in Upper East Village.

In association with the founders of the I.D.E.A. District concept, Pete Garcia and David Malmuth, the LPP team also includes Frank Wolden, principal, Carrier Johnson + Culture, and Stacey Pennington, principal, SLP Urban Planning.

“We are convinced this team has the commitment and credentials to create a bold, transformational project that will enhance the social, cultural and economic vitality of East Village for generations.  Having been a part of East Village since 1954, we want this to be one of the legacies of the Navarra family,” said Jerry Navarra, chairman of Jerome’s Furniture.  “The team offers the unique combination of world-class thinking and a history of successfully developing San Diego landmarks.”

The Navarra Upper East Village properties include full or partial ownership in five different city blocks located between F Street and Broadway and bordered by 14th, 15th, and 16th streets. Read more

Designers are the New Drivers of Entrepreneurialism

Designers are merging their ways of thinking with startup culture. The result, writes Bruce Nussbaum, is greater innovation and astounding VC success rates.

Read the article from Fast Company.

Nurturing Arts Districts for the New Economy

ULI San Diego/Tijuana hosted a seminar earlier this month entitled “Powering Innovation Economies,” held in conjunction with Art San Diego 2011 and the San Diego Contemporary Art Fair, to emphasize their belief that

“cities that harness the emerging dynamic of innovation into their economic development strategies will be the ones that leverage themselves into the ranks of great cities in the 21st Century.”

This effort offers promise of a very different future. One that recognizes our economy has changed, and that we need to think differently about land use and jobs, and the emerging creative and innovative economy.

Click here to read the article from the Huffington Post

I.D.E.A. District to Kick Off Architectural Series

Developer David Malmuth will kick off this year’s Friends of San Diego Architecture lecture series Saturday with a pitch for his I.D.E.A. District — an area downtown where design-related firms would comprise a new business and jobs cluster.

At the lecture, he plans to review similar districts in other cities and lay out the potential for the East Village area of downtown to become a center for all forms of design — architecture, software, graphics and the fine arts.

Click here to read the article from the Union-Tribune.

tom custer

I.D.E.A. District Plans Move Forward Downtown

Developers David Malmuth and Pete Garcia said they are two or three weeks away from unveiling a detailed vision plan for the 93-acre “I.D.E.A.” district in East Village. The acronym stands for innovation, design, education and the arts.

View the article from the Union Tribune.