Makers Quarter: A Cultural Hub in East Village
Matthew Winter is an Associate Principal of BNIM Architecture, a national architecture and planning firm with an office in San Diego. He is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Matthew lives in Pacific Beach and is a board member of the Pacific Beach Town Council. He is also president of Beautiful PB, a non-profit group working to implement a number of community projects and programs intended to bring about a Pacific Beach EcoDistrict. In 2016 Winter was appointed to the San Diego Historical Resources Board by Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
East Village is a 95-acre urban neighborhood first proposed six years ago by developers David Malcolm and Peter Garcia as the location for an I.D.E.A. District. Filled with old warehouses and small industries, this was the last remaining area of downtown ripe for new ideas and reuse. It was the opportune time to turn the area into a model for Innovation, Design, Education, and the Arts, thus the name IDEA.
Since then, much has happened in the area. Four enterprising architecture graduates from NewSchool developed the Quartyard, an abandoned lot that was leased from the city as a temporary venue until the site is sold for permanent use. It has been a thriving community gathering spot for events with food, entertainment, and a park for dogs. (Note: the lot has now sold and Quartyard is looking for another location.) IDEA1, a mixed use 6 story building across from NewSchool will be opening later this year. Restaurants, brewpubs, artist studios, small businesses and tech startups are popping up. East Village Green, a park with performance space and playground, is in its first phase.
Makers Quarter is playing a vital role as a cultural hub in East Village. It is a 6-block area on the eastern edge of East Village that forms the gateway to Broadway. BNIM is working on the Master Plan of Makers Quarter with L2HP, a development team comprised of Lankford & Associates, HP Investors, and Hensel Phelps. The plan is to build over one million square feet of offices, housing units, and boutique retail space in the next seven years. It is already home to two outdoor community venues, SILO and SMARTS Farm. Fab Lab San Diego, a nonprofit DIY workshop that supports entrepreneurs, offers classes, and provides fabrication services, has set up shop in a huge warehouse in Makers Square. Urban Discovery Academy and Fuse Integration occupy rehabbed warehouses. Coming soon is the first new residential project, Broadstone Makers Quarter, followed by the first new office building, a collaborative office hub. Kris Mitchell, CEO of Downtown San Diego Partnership says the focus of Makers Quarter is “to attract an educated millennial workforce to strengthen San Diego’s image as a city that embraces culture, creativity, and cutting-edge innovation”.