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UC San Diego Announces Downtown Hub

A rendering of the UC San Diego downtown hub slated to open in 2020.

Credit: UC San Diego

Above: A rendering of the UC San Diego downtown hub slated to open in 2020.

UC San Diego is moving into downtown.

The university announced on Monday that it plans to open a 66,000-square-foot hub at the corner of Park Boulevard and Market Street. The project is slated to be completed in 2020.

According to UCSD, the center will house:

• academic and outreach programs for middle and high school students

• business incubation and entrepreneurship resources

• a venue for arts events and exhibits

• a hub for civic engagement, including applied research and volunteer opportunities

• courses, workshops and seminars relevant to downtown’s growing workforce

The university said state funds won't be used to pay for the project. Instead, financing will come from underwriting, contracts, grants, service fees and lease revenue that UCSD will manage. The school said it selected the site because of the nearby San Diego Blue Line.

“With the diverse neighborhoods surrounding the urban core, including Barrio Logan, the Diamond District and Golden Hill, this project reinforces UC San Diego’s role as a key partner in spurring economic prosperity and inclusion through engaging events and educational offerings," Mary Walshok, UC San Diego’s associate vice chancellor for public programs and dean of extension, said in a statement.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer said "landing a university presence in downtown San Diego is a game changer and the result of years of hard work to make it reality."

Photo caption: John Bertsch, owner of Meshuggah Shack in downtown San Diego, talks about the...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

John Bertsch, owner of Meshuggah Shack in downtown San Diego, talks about the planned UC San Diego hub, Dec. 12, 2016.

Current tenants at the space include the coffee shop Meshuggah Shack, whose owner, John Bertsch, knew the block was marked for redevelopment before opening up shop.

Bertsch said he was going to have to move no matter who settled in the spot, and that he's excited that it's going to be UC San Diego.

"It's nice to see something besides convention facilities come down here, or something that is not directed toward tourism," he said. "I think downtown would benefit from having institutions here that could be major employers."

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