The Gaslamp of the East Village

Downtown San Diego is constantly changing.  If you are standing in the middle of the Gaslamp Quarter, in nearly every direction, you’ll see a crane.  If you don’t see a crane, you’ll definitely hear construction crews or come across a street closure.  Development is on the rise and San Diego is in a constant state of transformation.  

Enter Makers Quarter with its black silo boldly emblazing “M” beckoning for creative and innovative thinkers alike to bound together and quench their thirst for the ever-changing artistic economy.  Makers Quarter would be newest addition to San Diego’s flourishing and vibrant Upper East Village in Downtown.  Developers have unveiled plans for this urban mixed-use neighborhood which would be part of a larger planned “I.D.E.A District” is intended to draw in innovated and technology related companies and workers for a collective live, work, and play neighborhood .  Makers Quarter outlines the eastern edge of Downtown and defines the southern edge of San Diego City College. The quarter stretches out just minutes away from the famous Balboa Park and enclaves a melting pot of vividly artistic neighborhoods.

The estimated $900 million master plan by developers is set to stretch out five blocks, roughly spanning from 14th Street to 17th Street, and Broadway to G Street. The decade to 15 year assessed time frame projects intent for mixed-use buildings housing offices, apartments and retail spaces.  Developers are also looking to include an open marketplace with community gathering spots that will emphasize walkability and other sustainable elements.   The area is already home to Art Warehouses and a Community Garden project. 

The quarter’s first building has an anticipated opening of 2016, but in the meantime, San Diego urban dwellers have been given a tantalizing nibble of what’s to come- SILO.  SILO is the area’s raw authentic open space on the corner of 15th and F streets showcasing funky repurposed wood pallets as outdoor furniture and hypnotically vibrant murals orchestrated by local artists. Since launching, SILO has hosted a San Diego Film Festival party, an urban pumpkin patch, a holiday-shopping bazaar and a “Craft Beer and Bites” for the San Diego Brewers Guild. The collaborative events have been enormously successful bringing in distinctive crowds from both nearby and even outlying neighborhoods to connect and embrace the creative culture. The second “Craft Beer and Bites” went off on Saturday, April 5, 2014. Locals and enthusiasts alike bonded over craft beer and challenged each other to one of the many interactive games presented, including bocce ball, ping pong, and giant Jenga.

However, it’s not all fun and games in urban planning. Building this incremental progression in reflecting the East Village community goals of a new emerging urban sustainable culture and neighborhood will leave the developers behind Makers Quarter with their work cut out for them.

 Many questions still remain unknown of how the neighborhood transformation will really pan out, but one thing is for sure, the war for talent has begun and the East Village is crafting its own identity to recruit the cream of the crop.

For more information regarding Makers Quarter and events held, please check out .

Other upcoming projects in the area are:

A large community gateway sign

An art object made out of bottle caps at the Park Boulevard and Market Street trolley stop

A street bazaar

East Village Green special events

Increasing use of street banners to tout East Village’s assets.

For more information on East Village events and projects, please check out


Happy Centennial to our own Julian Lofts and Church Lofts!

Happy Centennial to Julian Lofts and Church Lofts!

The Julian Lofts Building and Church Lofts, respectively known as the Julian Produce Company Warehouse Building and the First Baptist Church, were built 100 years ago.  We celebrate the 100th birthday of these historically designated landmarks with great pride.

Julian Produce Company Warehouse Building, 1912 (Julian Lofts Building)Julian Building Lofts

This two-story Italianate-style property is individually significant as a local, state, and national historic resource.  Because of its proven historical and/or architectural significance, it qualifies as a contributor to the Warehouse Thematic Historic District, meeting the City of San Diego’s Historical Resource Board Criterion.

The Julian Produce Building reflects San Diego’s industrial development during the first half of the twentieth century, when it was the economic engine of the city.  As a district contributor, the Julian Produce Building helps to convey the significance of the district as a whole as: 1) a warehouse building type; 2) a warehouse that is distinctive for its architectural design; 3) a warehouse that incorporates specific building materials and reflects a distinctive method of construction and 4) an industrial building that was used for storage, repair, manufacture, preparation or treatment of any article, substance or commodity, including buildings used as stables and garages.

Today, 100 years later, the Julian Produce Company Warehouse Building is designated as Live/Work Lofts and houses the Blind Burro (, one of our newest East Village commercial tenants.



First Baptist Church, 1912 (Church Lofts)Trilogy Real Estate Mgmt Church Lofts

The space where congregants of the former First Baptist Church once gathered for Sunday morning services, was converted by Trilogy in 1995, into 23 Live/Work Lofts for San Diego’s Upper East Village residents.  With high cathedral ceilings, airy sunny rooms, polished hardwood floors and the use of interior features from the old church, the Church Lofts have proven to be very appealing and unique to downtown living.

When developer Bud Fischer (Partner) and architect Dick Bundy took on the daunting project, they made a decision to keep intact as much of the original church architecture as possible.  Although the church took possession of the stained-glass windows, the original woodwork and ironwork were preserved, as were the balconies, skylights, wood floors, railings and a copper-colored tin ceiling in one of the units.  This was one of the most difficult projects that were undertaken by Trilogy.

Before the building was converted, other ideas were explored such as, expanding the central library, an office building, an arts center…all were eventually rejected.  There were even thoughts of tearing it down and putting up a parking lot.  Without the subsidy from the downtown redevelopment corporation, the project would not have been possible.

The innovative project, which preserved the Mission Revival structure right down to the brick inlaid baptismal font, remains 100% occupied to date…which is fitting for it’s 100th year birthday!

Happy Centennial to the Julian Produce Company Warehouse Building and to the First Baptist Church! 


9 Tips For Holiday Stress Management & Relief

As you’re well aware, the holidays are here. Although this thought might be joyful for many, chances are that there’s a certain amount of stress creeping into your head as well.

Polls show that almost 90% of Americans feel some kind of anxiety or stress about the holidays. The shopping, out-of-control discretionary spending, decorating, cooking, visiting, and holiday entertaining at home can all add up and cause tremendous pressure on both adults and kids. When did things get so out of hand?

Luckily for you, there’s a movement slowly gaining steam which addresses our anxiety-filled holidays. Just like “Slow Food” and “Slow Living,” this movement is known as “Slow Holiday.” That is, people are willingly stepping away from the holiday madness to just slow down, play, and be.

Novel concept, right? Here are some ideas you can use to have a Slow Holiday this year:

1. Unplug One Day a Week
Between our iPhones and Droids, our home computers, and televisions, we’re constantly plugged in, which means we’re constantly getting bombarded with advertisements telling us to buy, buy, buy.

Why not unplug…literally? One day each week, take a digital vacation! Instead of watching TV, play with your kids. Instead of racing to answer your cell every time it rings, turn it off and read a book instead.

You’re likely going to end the day feeling refreshed and happy.

2. Force Yourself to Slow Down
When was the last time you sat down and lingered over a cup of coffee and a good book? When did you last write in a journal, strum your guitar, or really take the time to enjoy the dinner you or your significant other cooked?

So many of us rush through our days, especially around the holidays. This leaves us feeling frazzled, chronically dissatisfied, and spent. We often forget how important it is to slow down.

If you find yourself rushing from task to task or errand to errand while your patience is running thin, force yourself to slow down. Ask yourself this: will the world end if I don’t get this done? Will I even remember what this all-important task was a week from now? Much of the time, that answer will be a resounding “no.”

Instead of stressing yourself out, stop. Look around you. Admire something beautiful you can see. Go get a cup of coffee at the coffee shop, and NOT to go! Pick up your ukulele. Take some deep breaths.

Remember: your life should not be a To-Do list.

3. Discover the Joys of Small Things
During the holidays, we love baking. Cookies, breads, cakes…they all have a place in our hearts. Baking is one the “Small Things.” That is, it’s a small activity that brings lot of joy. It’s both meditative and creative at the same time.

Do you have a Small Thing? A Small Thing is any small routine or activity that really makes you happy. It doesn’t matter if it’s reading the paper, assembling bouquets, working on a woodworking project, crocheting, or washing dishes; if it makes you happy, try to work more of that activity into your schedule, especially during the holidays.

4. Give
Most of us have way, way too much stuff. The whole process of gift-giving throughout the year is actually pretty wasteful.

Slow down this year by giving to charity. Even better, get your family and friends involved and do it together. Here are some ideas:

  • Sponsor a needy family. Provide a tree, food, and gifts for their holiday. The Salvation Army, your local church, local school, or local food bank probably all have a list of families in need of sponsorship.
  • Bring some homemade food or baked goods to your local hospice or nursing care facility.
  • Bring toys to children in the long-term care ward at your local hospital.

5. Reduce
Many parents feel the need to buy a ton of toys for their kids; they want every inch under the tree filled with presents.

An easy solution? Buy a smaller tree. Choose a few presents with care. Go for quality over quantity.

6. Get Some Exercise
I know you’ve heard this one a million times. And it’s for good reason! Exercise has been proven, time and time again, to lower stress level and increase serotonin (the chemical in our brains that make us happy).

If you’re not a fan of the gym, then find some fun ways to sneak in a work out at:

7. Learn to Say “No”
You don’t have to hit every holiday party. You don’t have to go to your sister’s for New Year’s Eve if you don’t want to. And you sure don’t have to go with your mom out to the mall to help her shop.

If there’s anything you don’t want to do, don’t do it. Say “No.” It might be a novel concept, but it’s really liberating.

8. Have Realistic Expectations
Often, people can get stressed around the holidays because they want the celebrations and get-togethers to be just as good as they remember them from childhood.

Make the holidays what you want them to be, right now. Don’t put the bar so high that you make yourself miserable trying to reach it. Be here, now.

9. Don’t Over Indulge
‘Tis the season for holiday buffets, tins of cookies, and tables groaning under Christmas feasts. It’s really, really easy to overindulge during the holidays. Not only does this make us feel guilty, but it also makes our bodies and our minds feel sluggish and bad.

Yes, we need to enjoy the holidays. But don’t go overboard.