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Park & Market Gains Final Approval, UCSD To Buy Building For Satellite Campus


The San Diego City Council yesterday gave final approval to Park & Market, approving the Disposition and Development Agreement. The DDA provides for the sale of the property to the Holland Partner Group for $12.3M, which will go into the city's affordable housing fund. It also requires the developer to design, finance and build the project in its entirety. This $200M, mixed-use project in Downtown’s East Village will occupy an entire city block. 

The approval comes on the heels of the University of California San Diego announcing plans to locate a permanent Downtown education facility within this project. UCSD will acquire the project’s four-story, 66k SF office component (pictured) for its Innovative Cultural and Education Hub. This facility will offer classes and research space geared to the needs of entrepreneurs and the general public. The facility will also offer high school students from surrounding neighborhoods practical education programs, such as software coding and college readiness classes.

The project, designed by Carrier Johnson + Culture, also includes a 34-story residential tower with 426 residences, of which 85 are very-low-income affordable apartments; 22k SF of retail; and a 5k SF plaza for community gatherings that includes an amphitheater. This community space offers UCSD students and local artists, actors and musicians gallery space for displaying their works and a performance venue. The project will also restore the historic Remmen Building along Park Boulevard for retail and restaurant uses.


“We are thrilled to see Park & Market move forward with dedicated benefits to our Downtown neighborhood,” said Civic San Diego president Reese A. Jarrett. “The presence of UC San Diego’s Innovative Cultural and Education Hub realizes a long-held dream of seeing one of San Diego’s higher educational institutions in an urban core location. This project also produces a double bottom line of inclusionary affordable housing, along with the realization that the proceeds from the sale of the site will be reinvested in additional affordable housing."

The presence of a permanent UCSD outpost in Downtown is expected to accelerate evolution of East Village as an innovation/tech hub. Mixed-use projects designed to appeal and meet the needs of entrepreneurs, designers, makers, artists and other creatives are already rising nearby in the I.D.E.A District and Makers Quarter.

“Although it will be a few years until we see USCD move into Downtown, the momentum will be seen immediately from a leadership standpoint," CBRE SVP Matt Carlson (above), who specializes in Downtown office leasing, told Bisnow. "This move solidifies that Downtown is a premier location to do business.” USCD currently occupies space in the Downtown San Diego Partnership office.

“The success of Diamond View Tower, the relocation of the Sempra headquarters and now USCD in East Village, reinforces that this Downtown neighborhood is the center of new development,” he said. “Projects like Makers Quarter, also located in the East Village, will foster the innovative district and transform the area into a tech and employment hub.”


The Holland Partner Group conducted presentations of Park & Market to Downtown neighborhood and community organizations and worked with CivicSD staff to create a project that contributes to the quality of life and economic development of the surrounding community. East Village is under redevelopment, as historically it has been an industrial area that evolved into deteriorating neighborhoods and is still home to the city’s largest homeless population.

This proposed transit-oriented project will create approximately 600 full-time pre-development/construction jobs and about 185 direct full-time permanent jobs—all of which will comply with the state’s prevailing wage law. It also will create a connection between Park Boulevard, the public plaza and amphitheater to serve as a gathering place for the public and cultural and entertainment venue. The nearby Trolley station will connect UCSD’s campus to the Downtown UCSD facility.