With Makers Quarter, San Diego Set To Take Center Stage As An Innovation Hub

San Diego has a lot of nicknames. It’s the land of eternal sunshine, perma-vacationers, and well, you know the line from Anchorman. However, the city we call home has managed to fly under the radar as a hub for creatives, innovators, and makers – until now.

For anyone who lives and works in San Diego, especially in a creative field, we know how tight-knit, supportive, and badass this community is. However, to anyone outside of San Diego, this city isn’t necessarily the first place they’d think of when looking for a creative city to call home – not when Los Angeles or San Francisco can be found in the same state.

With the emergence of Makers Quarter, San Diego will finally claim its rightful spot on the map as the creative center its residents have always known it to be.

Inspired by the Maker Movement, which has defined the East Village from the original Jerome’s Furniture to Moniker Warehouse, Makers Quarter aims to cultivate an environment to inspire a challenge to convention and bring about a new age of innovation.

Like it or not (we are on Team Like), millennials are the future. As the workforce changes, so does the work environment – more people are freelancing, working remotely, and venturing on their own, uncharted paths. A regular 9-5 job isn’t always the best choice, nor is your standard office setting and water cooler talk.

This shift is paving the way for unimagined business and urban landscapes – a vision that will eventually span across the last remaining six blocks of undeveloped downtown San Diego.

Since its inception a few years ago, the mission behind Makers Quarter has evolved to fit the needs of the community and the imagined future of San Diego. Despite this evolution, Makers Quarter is still driven by four main principles.

The first is to establish, enhance, and promote San Diego’s core culture. With a culture that thrives on community, Makers Quarter will be a place to live, work, and play all within biking or walking distance to other prominent areas of the city. Adjacent to Balboa Park and near convenient transit, Makers Quarter is an obvious area for restaurants, residents, and businesses alike.

The second is to create a new employment hub for downtown and the surrounding region. Ranked as one of the best cities in the US for startups, this employment focus will allow for like-minded creators to collaborate, grow, and develop in San Diego. While San Diego has always had a strong military and science presence, there has been a boom of smaller companies putting down roots in San Diego. Creating a space for them to thrive will shape and straighten the future of the city.

The third principle is to create an authentic, dense, and sustainable urban space. With plans for offices, residential units, retail, and open space, Makers Quarter will offer everything you could possibly want. The development has already attracted concepts including 10 Barrel Brewing Company and Punch Bowl Social on the entertainment spectrum along with FabLab and Smarts Farm as innovative, cultural centers.

Lastly, the development will foster a walkable neighborhood that encourages a healthy lifestyle. East Village saw its first boom following the opening of Petco Park, but parts of the neighborhood remained neglected. What was once chain link and razor wire will grow to be a bustling community that will enhance the urban vibe of downtown.

This six block quadrant of the East Village will be nestled in the I.D.E.A district – a parent to Makers Quarter . San Diego’s tech and design hub. Standing for Innovation + Design + Education + Arts, this transformative urban initiative is working to create 13,000 design and tech jobs in 12 years.

San Diego’s downtown has never been able to compete with the bustling centers of Los Angeles or San Francisco – something that Makers Quarter embraces. Rather than turn San Diego into the next Silicon Valley, it aims to combine the best parts of San Diego – the tech and science centers, the bustling creative community, and the laid back vibe.

These projects are helping launch San Diego into a city that proves you can solve big problems while still living your best life.

Yes, San Diego will always be the place for beaches, surfing, and endless tacos. But thanks to Makers Quarter, it’s also the place for big ideas.