Known for being the hometown of fictional, yet legendary, news anchor Ron Burgundy and serving as the backdrop for film classics like Top Gun and Some Like it Hot, San Diego is perhaps best known for its laid-back locals and near-perfect weather.

Today, the city is in the midst of reinventing itself as a vibrant epicenter of technological innovation, attracting both tech startups and venture capital heavyweights from around the globe. Brimming with a new generation of digital entrepreneurs, America’s Finest City is gearing up for a new era of modernism at the tip of the Golden State — a revolution in urbanization.


San Diego’s pace of development, driven in part by a booming economy and a competitive housing market, has considerably exceeded the national rate. And downtown San Diego condos, in particular, are quickly evolving to become one of the most exciting and architecturally diverse forms of real estate in the city.

Currently, San Diego is prepping for the highly anticipated yet-to-be-built I.D.E.A. District. Projects like I.D.E.A are signs that the future of urbanization is near and the integration of social workspaces with community living will soon become a cultural mainstay.


An acronym for Innovation, Design, Education and Arts, the I.D.E.A. District project was funded by Lowe Enterprises, a Los Angeles-based leading national real estate investment firm, and co-founded by seasoned developers David Malmuth and Pete Garcia.

“Design will be the engine of the I.D.E.A District,” said Garcia, who has spent the bulk of his career spearheading large-scale real estate projects spanning the United States, Mexico, and Costa Rica, including residential, commercial, retail, industrial, hospitality, and infrastructure developments.

During his nine-year tenure at The Walt Disney Company, Malmuth managed the development of more than $200 million in projects including The Feature Animation Building in Burbank, Disney on Ice in Anaheim, and the Kodak Theatre complex in Hollywood.

In 2011, Malmuth and Garcia conceived the initial blueprint for the I.D.E.A. District, culminating in the creation of IDEA1, the first step to establishing the district’s vision of becoming the heart of San Diego’s design and technology scene.


I.D.E.A. is an initiative that integrates residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, and entertainment spaces with the intent of building a vibrant, sustainable urban community. The focus is to allow a more balanced mix of uses within one single development, making it easier to cater to the diverse needs of the residents and allow for flexibility without sacrificing the existing character of the surrounding neighborhood.

Where is it Located?

When complete, the emerging I.D.E.A. District will serve as a unique self-contained community located in downtown’s upper East Village and will be bordered on the north by City College and C Street, on the east by the I-5 freeway, on the south by Market Street, and on the west by 11th Street.

Covering 35 city blocks, this micro city will boast 5,000 square feet of restaurant space, 7,700 square feet of creative office space, as well as educational facilities, retailers, restaurants, specialty shops, art galleries, and 295 apartment units, available in a variety of floor plans including live/work lofts (one and two-bedrooms) and penthouses.

Each unit comes with up to 12-foot ceilings, exquisite city views, and access to the 2,000 square foot exercise facility, rooftop clubhouse, outdoor sundeck, bike repair shop, and luxury spa that overlooks the downtown skyline and San Diego bay.


Multipurpose spaces are redefining the boundaries between companies and communities and in the context of expanding urbanization, dwindling living spaces, and increasing social disconnects, now more than ever, sharing is caring. These types of buildings are important for creating a place in which urban living is accessible.

Impact on San Diego

And as the technology sector continues to expand and drive San Diego’s economy, the demand for creative workspaces will only continue to grow. After all, the residential and commercial landscape is evolving to respond to the priorities and preferences of millennials, a demographic that’s increasingly focused on options that emphasize comfort, convenience, and social engagement.

Trend of Development

While there is concern over gentrification altering the cultural legacy of some of urban neighborhoods like North Park and Barrio Logan, Malmuth and Garcia view, East Village is a district that’s relatively undefined in terms of its identity, yet one that also possesses an enormous amount of untapped potential. Thus, the goal of the I.D.E.A. District is to attract the best and the brightest by giving them what they want—an amenities-rich microcosm of a major city that offers everything you need to live, work, and play—all in one place.

Cities need to innovate to survive. While San Diego serves as one of the country’s most important biotech, defense, and engineering hubs, it is also competing in the most important race of the 21st Century— the race for tomorrow’s talent. With entrepreneurs being essential ingredients for an innovation economy, what better way to attract them to San Diego than with a great I.D.E.A.?