SAN DIEGO—Lowe Enterprises and I.D.E.A. Partners have been tapped by the San Diego Community College District to develop a mixed-use project on 1.37 acres. The joint venture has signed a long-term lease on the block, which lies between E, F, Park and 13th Streets in downtown San Diego.

The project will be the stimulus for the 95-acre I.D.E.A. District, Innovation+Design+Education+Arts, an attempt to create jobs cluster at the intersection of design and technology. The 38 city blocks in San Diego’s Upper East Village is ideally located between a number of schools and universities. The vision for the I.D.E.A. District is that it will attract and retain top young talent.  

“This is a tremendous opportunity to be at the forefront of this emerging District,” said Mike McNerney, senior vice president Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group, in a statement. “Our firm has successfully developed urban mixed-use projects in other markets and we are excited to partner with SDCCD on their property. Together with our co-developer, we bring years of experience and a commitment to achieving the larger District initiative.”

Designed by architecture firm Gensler, the office space will have large, open floor plates and roll-up walls. The developers are already in talks with a number of design and technology companies for the office space. The residences will be small and efficient, with shared amenities in order to appeal to college students, recent graduates and young professionals.

“Launching this project sets the tone for the District and will influence others to become part of its future. The area is poised for reinvention with nearby transit, small walkable blocks, older underutilized buildings and planned public spaces; and, it is fully entitled with the appropriate zoning,” said David Malmuth, partner I.D.E.A. Partners.

Construction is slated to begin in 2014, after the final design and development plans are in place.