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Only Here Podcast: Building A Cross-Border District

In this photo taken in March of 2019, Miguel Marshall stands inside the art g...

Photo by Kinsee Morlan

Above: In this photo taken in March of 2019, Miguel Marshall stands inside the art gallery at Estacion Federal, the project he considers the poster child for the future "Crossborder District" he envisions.

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Only here can you find entrepreneurs in San Diego and Tijuana who are working to build a bigger and better-designed cross-border region.

Aired: July 24, 2019 | Transcript

A Tijuana entrepreneur has built a prototype for the binational district he envisions.

When Miguel Marshall spotted a for-sale sign on a building just a few hundred feet away from the border fence in Tijuana, he quickly called the owner and negotiated a deal. He was confident his development company could transform the broken-down building into the poster child for the future design-centric district near the border that he wants to help build.

Marshall, who is the chief executive of the Tijuana real estate development company Centro Ventures, sees the "Crossborder District," as he's dubbed it, as a way to reclaim the Tijuana neighborhoods that touch the border fence, transforming the region from a congested, militarized zone mostly built for tourists passing through into a place where people will want to stay and enjoy awhile. He wants to help smooth the transition from one side of the border to the other by bringing Tijuana’s creative, cosmopolitan culture closer to the wall.

Photo caption: The bartender at the cocktail bar at Estación Federal mixes a drink in this p...

Photo by Kinsee Morlan

The bartender at the cocktail bar at Estación Federal mixes a drink in this photo taken March 2019.

Since buying the building, called Estación Federal, Marshall has turned it into a hip enclave for young, cross-border people like himself. He's now created a real space tailor-made for the cross-border future he envisions. And he’s not alone in his efforts.

On a new episode of "Only Here," KPBS' podcast about life, art and culture at one of the world's busiest border crossings, Marshall and Greg Strangman, founder of San Diego real estate development company LWP Group, talk about how they're working to build a bigger and better-designed cross-border region.

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