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UC San Diego Extension to Open Innovative Cultural and Education Hub in Downtown San Diego

Proposed urban presence in the East Village will expand the university’s educational reach to diverse communities throughout the region


  • Jennifer Davies

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  • Jennifer Davies

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The new hub will support economic development downtown and provide UC San Diego with a greater connection to communities surrounding the urban core.

The University of California San Diego today announced it plans to open an Innovative Cultural and Education Hub in downtown San Diego at the corner of Park and Market to connect its wide range of programs to the downtown innovation community and to diverse neighborhoods throughout San Diego’s urban core.

UC San Diego Extension will manage the 66,000 square foot center, which the Holland Partner Group is developing as part of a larger project at the location. The center is slated to be completed in 2020 and will offer educational and cultural programs, and will house a 3,000 square foot restaurant on the ground floor and an outdoor amphitheater space. The center will be home to:

  • Academic and outreach programs for middle and high school students from surrounding communities.
  • Business incubation and entrepreneurship resources for entrepreneurs throughout the urban core.
  • A venue for arts events and exhibits to showcase the university’s and the larger community’s cultural offerings.
  • A hub for civic engagement, including applied research and volunteer opportunities.
  • Courses, workshops and seminars relevant to downtown’s growing workforce.

The 66,000 square foot center, part of a larger project at the location, will offer educational and cultural programs.

No state funds will be used to finance the construction of the project and ongoing financing for the facility will come from a combination of program underwriting, contracts and grants, fees for services and lease revenues, all of which UC San Diego Extension will manage. The university selected the site because of its proximity to the UC San Diego Blue Line, which will run from San Ysidro to University City and connect its main campus in La Jolla with the greater San Diego region.

UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla said the new facility is designed to deliver on the core tenets of the university’s Strategic Plan to ensure both equity and excellence.

“Our establishment of an urban innovation and educational hub demonstrates our commitment to be bold and build a better university, a better community and a better world,” Khosla said. “This new hub will support economic development downtown while delivering new educational opportunities for our students, faculty and staff and provide a greater connection to the communities throughout San Diego.”

Mary Walshok, UC San Diego’s associate vice chancellor for public programs and dean of Extension, said the new Innovative Cultural and Education Hub will redefine the role of a research university in the 21st century by offering unique educational experiences and research opportunities as well as arts and cultural activities.

“With the diverse neighborhoods surrounding the urban core, including Barrio Logan, the Diamond District and Golden Hill, this project reinforces UC San Diego’s role as a key partner in spurring economic prosperity and inclusion through engaging events and educational offerings.”

Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer applauded UC San Diego’s efforts and its commitment to the City of San Diego’s ongoing efforts to education and economic development.

“Landing a university presence in downtown San Diego is a game changer and the result of years of hard work to make it reality,” Faulconer said. “This new project will continue the revitalization of the East Village neighborhood and, with UC San Diego’s top-notch reputation, provide countless opportunities for collaboration as we prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow.”

The Holland Partner Group is scheduled to seek final approval of the entitlements for both the Innovative Cultural and Education Hub and its larger residential project from the San Diego City Council on December 13. The residential project includes 341 market-rate apartments, 85 rent-restricted affordable apartments for very low income residents and preservation of the historic Remmen House. Construction is slated to begin during the summer of 2017.

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