There is an inside joke among residents that: “Living in Downtown San Diego can sometimes be compared to living in a vertical Irvine”. What is meant by this is that Downtown San Diego has been conceived and constructed as a master planned community. Neighborhoods like the East Village did not exist before 2005. In fact…most of the complexes with condos for sale in the East Village were not completed until late 2007 to early 2008. With a brand new neighborhood like the East Village, sometimes it feels like it was struggling for it’s own identity. The neighborhood had the ballpark and the luxury condos and lofts, but it didn’t really have an “urban culture” yet. However….current projects like The Idea District, Makers Quarter, and Quartyard from the Rad Lab are changing all of this thinking. In fact…they are trying to change the way residents interact with their homes and urban landscape.
For awhile now, there has been some buzz about a new public space near Market and Park Blvd. It keeps coming up in conversation, so I decided to do a little research and find more about what everyone is talking about. Rad Lab is made up of several grad students from the Newschool of Architecture and Design and stands for “Research Architecture Development Laboratory”. On their website, their Vision is clearly stated “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others”. Their current project for the East Village named Quartyard would be their Vision put into practice. By late spring of this year, they hope to transform the vacant lot on Market and Park into a “pop up” urban public park. The park space will include: a dog park, coffee shop, beer garden, and public space (for concerts, fairs, parties, etc). With only a three year lease…the park will be a temporary and flexible use of urban space that will promote food, culture, art, and retail. Funding for this project came from several sources including a Kickstarter Fundraiser (just under 300 private donors) and a sizable investment from the Canter Companies (a local real estate firm). The press on this project is impressive, and the have official endorsements from quality organizations like: East Village Association, Civic San Diego, Downtown San Diego Partnership, and NewSchool of Architecture.
After reading and doing my research, if it means anything, I can officially add 92101 Urban Living to the official list of endorsements. Congratulations Rad Lab on such a unique idea. It will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Can’t wait for the opening!
Quartyard: Grad Students’ Rad Idea for Vacant Lots – San Diego Union Tribune
Beer Garden, Coffee, Food Trucks and More Fill Quartyard – San Diego Eater.com
The Quart Yard – San Diego Daily Transcript ')}