Makers. Start-ups. Tech Firms. Hackerspaces. These are the companies that tantalize and try our souls; that make us realize the unimagined and change the landscape of businesses, as we know them.
Commercial real estate is feeling a shift from traditional commercial spaces to more open-concept workplaces and customized solutions that accommodate the more collaborative nature of a lot of the work that people do. With their independence and unpredictable rates of growth, start-ups and tech companies present a unique set of requirements for their workspaces.
These clients tend to prefer central locations, near city amenities as well as others who are engaged in similar types of work. This has resulted in the appearance of urban areas that are developed specifically for start-ups and their ilk. The growth of “Silicon Alley”, centered in New York’s East Village, shows that tech companies will flock to areas that cater to their preferences and are attracting their competitors and partners. Now San Diego’s own East Village is attracting a similar clientele to the area of downtown known as the IDEA District.
What is the IDEA District?
Downtown San Diego’s IDEA District is emerging as a hub for innovation in design and technology. The entire area has been developed to encourage idea sharing and collaboration, with residences, co-working space, and retail. An interesting project in the district is Maker’s Quarter, which is bubbling away on the eastern edge of downtown.
This project involves all aspects of the neighborhood and is concerned with creating a culturally rich neighborhood that is dense, sustainable and walkable. This is just the sort of environment that has become so desirable for workspaces, particularly those of start-ups and tech companies. The developers are well aware of this, and are proceeding with those sorts of businesses in mind.
The Quarter is a mixed-use development originating on 5 blocks in the heart of the IDEA District. The complex’s design includes apartments and condos, office, retail, and cultural space, and a hotel. Parks and open space are a central feature of the neighborhood. The architect on the project is Gordon Beckman of Atlanta’s John Portman Associates. He has stressed the importance of “civic space” in creating the desired neighborhood environment.
As part of the effort to create a strong sense of community in the neighborhood, Maker’s Quarter hosts a wide range of events. Regular craft beer gatherings, bicycle events, food festivals, and organized sports bring people together. Here are a few of the events coming up in the neighborhood in the next few months:
With the February opening of Fab Lab San Diego in Maker’s Quarter, the area continues to develop with an emphasis on community and creativity. Part of the focus for the area’s development is helping new businesses get started, and that’s the intent of the Fab Lab. This sort of facility would seem to be right in line with other flexible workspace properties in the IDEA District. Developers hope that innovators will continue to be drawn to this vibrant new neighborhood that’s custom made for them.
Tell us your thoughts on Makers Quarter and the IDEA District. We’d love to hear your thoughts on how this is changing the workplace landscape and whether or not you’d participate in this type of budding community. Let’s continue the conversation on our Facebook page today!