UC San Diego Plans New $42 Mil Downtown Facility
For the past few decades, downtown San Diego has seen rapid development. The city has added housing, high-rise offices, hotels, shopping, restaurants and more. However, until now, the downtown has always been missing one crucial element: higher education. But now that’s changing. UC San Diego just announced a $42 million, 66,000-square-foot downtown facility.
The new building will begin construction starting in 2017 and will be completed sometime in 2020 or 2021. The facility, called the “Innovation Cultural and Education Hub,” will be built at Park Boulevard and Market Street in the East Village. It will welcome both students and faculty for research, classes, performing arts and more. For example, campus artists will have an opportunity to display their art and perform music, dance and drama within the space. In addition, professors will hold classes for entrepreneurs, and students will learn about computer coding.
According to Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, it’s a wonderful opportunity for both the university and the city. “It is a strong signal to the community … that we welcome you and we want you to be part of us, and we want to be part of you,” he said in an interview. As for San Diego city leaders, they are just as excited. They believe the new UC San Diego building is just the first step for making downtown a hub of the tech-economy.
The other reason for the new building is inspiration. UC San Diego hopes that by having a downtown presence, they’ll be able to inspire more low-income students to apply for admission. It will also hopefully inspire other developers and companies to move to downtown San Diego.
“As soon as UCSD or one of the other big academic institutions puts a beachhead downtown,” Matt Carlson, a CBRE commercial broker told the San Diego Tribune, “then we’ll know downtown has arrived.”
However, UC San Diego’s building is only a small part of a larger downtown plan—the Holland Partner Group’s $275 million Park & Market project. The entire project will include the university facility along with tenant improvements and more. There will also be 426-unit apartment tower and 85 low-income units on the same block for graduate and undergraduate student housing.
“Landing a university presence in downtown San Diego is a game changer and the result of years of hard work to make it reality,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “This new project will continue the revitalization of the East Village neighborhood and, with UCSD’s top-notch reputation, provide countless opportunities for collaboration as we prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow.”