Summer is in full swing! With some big developments happening here at The I.D.E.A. District and a wide array of projects rolling out across East Village, we couldn’t be more excited for what the next few months will bring. Here is our roundup of the biggest summer projects and a few updates of our own.
Earlier this year, we were very pleased to select The Miller Hull Partnership to design IDEA1. The award-winning architecture firm is widely recognized for their simple and progressive aesthetics, which actively engage communities while simultaneously exploring new architectural boundaries. With more than 250 national and regional awards, the high profile firm – who will also be the very first tenant of IDEA1 – offers a strong knowledge of innovation districts coupled with cutting edge expertise in the field. Currently, The Miller Hull Partnership is working on a few other inventive and contemporary projects. The Office Building of the Future, a conceptual proposal, gives some insight into the brilliant ideas that drive many of the firm’s architectural feats, while others such as the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry demonstrate intelligent flow design and excellent operational sustainability. As we move closer to the 2015 groundbreaking of IDEA1, we look forward to seeing what this new collaboration will bring to the table.
As for the rest of East Village, the roster is certainly full: Looking for some summer reading material? Head over to the Central Library for a literary field day hosted under the beautiful new dome completed earlier this year. This stunning space adds an interesting new focal point to the city’s skyline and will continue to provide the public with an excellent resource for knowledge and entertainment this summer and beyond. Also occupying space in the Central Library, the new charter school, e3 Civic High will open to an additional class this coming fall. The school aims to build a strong relationship with the downtown community and provide students with an outstanding education. We are thrilled to see such a unique environment put to good use educating our city’s youth.
On another note, we hope you’re hungry, because the restaurant lineup is looking spectacular this season. Chef Chad White, who we spoke with last month, will finish up the much-anticipated Común Kitchen and Tavern, which will be unveiled this summer. We can’t wait to try this new concept restaurant featuring Chad’s interpretation of Baja gastronomy. Bottega Americano is another highly awaited restaurant slated to open in August. Housed in the same building as the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, this “game-changer” will host an eatery, gourmet food stalls, a bar and more. Don’t forget to check out the many outdoor dining opportunities downtown either: Brian Malarkey’s popular Searsucker offers excellent cuisine and people-watching, while a more casual burger and beer can be found at The Corner on 10th and J. If you want to grab a draught-to-go at the ballgame, be sure to check out Stone Brewery’s new Tap Room at Petco Park for the ultimate spectator beverage. All in all, there are endless options and we are ready to try them all!
As for eco-friendly happenings, San Diego is going even greener with parks and public spaces. This summer, East Village will be increasingly abundant in grassy retreats, gardens and everything green in between. Let’s start with SmartsFarm, the vacant lot-turned thriving community garden in Makers Quarter. This innovative space on the corner of 15th and F Street offers youth programs along with plots that residents can lease, drawing together a diverse community of gardeners. We can’t wait to see this brilliant and economically smart spot put to good use all summer.
Also utilizing the full potential of San Diego’s urban space, RAD LAB (which stands for Research Architecture Development Laboratory) is on the cutting edge of inventive projects in East Village. The group’s ‘tactical urbanism’ has been the driving force behind concepts such as their recent pocket park on 13th and J Street. Populated with trees, seating made from recycled wooden palettes, a mural from local artist Christopher Konecki and more, the park is a far cry from the abandoned lot that occupied the space 3 months ago. A few blocks away on Park and Market, the Quartyard is soon to be found. RAD LAB will fill this un-loved space with retail, restaurants, art galleries, a garden, and community-based uses that act as temporary holders for future development. The park is designed to host public and private events and is sure be a great source of summer entertainment.
Get ready for a more bike-friendly neighborhood: Residents and visitors alike can prepare to enjoy San Diego on two wheels. The recently completed San Diego Bike Loop spans 7 miles, running along the bay, heading east to the Gaslamp Quarter and reaching all the way to Balboa Park. The trail offers commuters, cyclists and casual riders a safer, greener alternative mode of transportation that also acts as a form of exercise. Mayor Kevin Faulconer says that the Bike Loop is a big step forward in the push to create a more bike-friendly city: “These are the type of low-cost projects that have a huge impact on our neighborhoods and we’re going to be doing a lot more of them in the future.” Don’t own a bike? DecoBike’s new bike sharing program was approved in 2013 and is now in the process of being implemented citywide. It will provide stations in numerous locations where riders can rent bikes at any time. Additionally, the bikeway linking Southeast San Diego to Bayshore continues to advance, and will eventually culminate in a beautiful 24-mile trail along the Chollas Creek waterway.
From big expansions to fun bike rides; from delicious restaurants to beautiful parks, there is a lot to look forward to in downtown San Diego right now, so head on over to the East Village and get ready for a summer to remember. See you there!