The IDEA 1 Building came before the San Diego Downtown Community Planning Council last week amid concerns that it lacked the density desired for East Village as established in the 2006 amendments to the Downtown Community Plan. The DCP goal for downtown is 90,000 residents – 46,000 of which are to be in East Village. The proposal as it stands is six stories tall. It was unknown at the time of this writing what the DCP recommended, since the minutes have not been published (and I didn’t attend). Please feel free to add info as a comment below. The building is part of the IDEA District concept, promoted by IDEA Partners, LLC (David Malmuth and Peter Garcia), which hopes to foster a community of technology and creative incubators akin to the Innovation District in Boston. Attracting a major university satellite or extension is also part of the plan.
However, Civic San Diego staff noted that East Village’s residential density goals were undermined by 4-5 story “podium” buildings (wood framing on concrete bases) built during the recession between G St. and Market St. The project applicant, Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group and IDEA Partners argue that because the property is owned by the San Diego Community College District and the developer is limited to a 99 year lease and because it is adjacent to Salvation Army property, that financing more density is impossible. Staff argues to the contrary but did not make a recommendation against the project – rather it looked for direction from the Design Review Subcommittee. More information about the project can be found at this link. Go to this link for images and renderings.