The Rent Crisis in San Diego

Inside San Diego’s Real Estate Boom

The former North Park post office, transformed by FoundationForForm.

December 8, 2017 Comments (0) Views: 679 December 2017, Real Estate

The People Making it Happen in San Diego Real Estate

When cracks in the facade begin to show, these people find ways to make our built environment serve a growing, changing population with style and substance

Kris Michell 

This downtown power player is president and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership and is stepping in as the city’s new deputy chief operating officer for special projects. What kind of special projects? Top quandaries include the anticipated San Diego Convention Center expansion and the potential redevelopment of the site now known as SDCCU Stadium (known in turn as San Diego Stadium, Jack Murphy Stadium, Qualcomm Stadium, or the Q, depending on your preferred era.)


Nat Bosa

The founder of Bosa Development Corp. has been called the “condo king of downtown San Diego” by the Union-Tribune. His company tackles big-ticket commercial and residential projects in urban areas from California to Canada, including   Pacific Gate, the new 41-story condo tower downtown at the corner of Pacific Highway and West Broadway. Bosa’s career accolades include his 2016 induction into the Urban Development Institute’s Hall of Fame.


Pete Garcia and David Malmuth

The minds behind the I.D.E.A. District want residential, office, and retail spaces to work together as a 35-city-block model of innovation, design, education, and art—hence the acronym. their ambitious IDEA1 commingles apartments, retail and restaurant space, and a communal courtyard called The Hub.



James Brown

James Brown of Public Architecture and Planning is known for a diversity of modern designs, spanning homes, mixed-use complexes, commercial spaces, university buildings, and art installations. He’s also the owner and architect behind   Bread & Salt, an experimental arts center in Logan Heights. Word is he plans to expand the center property to include artist lofts, a café, and a performance space.



Mike Burnett and Craig Abenilla

The duo behind FoundationForForm Architecture & Development focus on creative urban infill projects. In their hands,   a shuttered North Park post office and an old Texaco station in Golden Hill became modern mixed-use complexes. Among their latest projects is Eitol, a bright red, four-story mixed-use complex in Hillcrest. The new apartments will surround a central courtyard with a restaurant by the hospitality group behind Urban MO’s Bar & Grill.


Yehudi Gaffen, Jeff Jacobs, and Jeffrey Essakow

The trio behind Protea Waterfront Development is heading up 1HWY1, which is reimagining Seaport Village as   “Seaport San Diego.” Gaffen cofounded construction consulting firm Gafcon. Jacobs, son of Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs, was an executive for the tech giant before delving into investment projects. Essakow cofounded an athletic apparel company and led Reebok’s American sports apparel division before getting into development. The team is working on a master plan to take the waterfront destination into a new era.


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