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Miller Hull selected for first IDEA District project

The Miller Hull Partnership, a San Diego and Seattle-based architectural firm that is designing an expanded San Ysidro Port of Entry, has been named to design the first phase of the IDEA District in downtown San Diego.

IDEA -- which stands for "Innovation+Design+Education+Art" -- District is a 35-block area in the East Village designed to have office, retail and multifamily residential uses.

The Miller Hull Partnership was selected by district developers Lowe Enterprises, which completed the County Operations Center last year, and IDEA Partners LLC, which is headed by local partners David Malmuth and Pete Garcia.

The first project, referred to as IDEA1, is planned to be on the full block bounded by E, F, Park and 13th streets. It calls for a five-story, 225,000-square-foot, mixed-use development with 63,000 square feet of office space, 10,000 square feet of street-level retail and eateries, and 218 apartments surrounding a large interior courtyard.

IDEA1 will occupy a 1.37-acre site, which was recently acquired by Lowe Enterprises and I.D.E.A. Partners through a 99-year ground lease from the San Diego Community College District.

While even the first phase is years away from realization, Miller Hull announced that it plans to have its new San Diego headquarters in this initial phase of the development. Miller Hull will lease 6,000 square feet at IDEA1, sufficient to accommodate its current staff and allow for future growth.

In addition to IDEA1 and the San Ysidro Port of Entry, Miller Hull's current projects include the design of the "Africa Rocks" exhibit at the San Diego Zoo, and the Mesa Community College Cafeteria and Bookstore. The firm also designed the landmark Bullitt Center in Seattle.

Groundbreaking of IDEA1 is scheduled for first quarter 2015, with completion in the first quarter of 2017.

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