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Economy

San Diego Nonprofit Opens In New Neighborhood Makers Quarter

People gathered together on Feb. 4 to celebrate the opening of the nonprofit Fab Lab in the new San Diego neighborhood Makers Quarter.
Matthew Bowler
People gathered together on Feb. 4 to celebrate the opening of the nonprofit Fab Lab in the new San Diego neighborhood Makers Quarter.

San Diego Nonprofit Opens In New Neighborhood Makers Quarter
There are two new things for downtown San Diego: a new downtown nonprofit in what is now downtown’s newest neighborhood.

There are two new things for downtown San Diego: a new downtown nonprofit in what is now downtown’s newest neighborhood.

Hundreds of people came out Wednesday to dedicate the nonprofit, Fab Lab San Diego, in a new neighborhood at 14th and E streets called Makers Quarter. Mayor Kevin Faulconer, along with City Council President Sherri Lightner, also came out to show their support.

Makers Quarter is on the eastern end of downtown, near the San Diego Police Department headquarters.

Councilman Todd Gloria who represents the neighborhood said he's excited to see Fab Lab open its doors.

"The neighborhood of downtown is the perfect home for the newest in innovation, and I welcome Fab Lab to Makers Quarter," Gloria said.

Stacy Pennington, the urban planner for Makers Quarter, said the march of progress is unstoppable, but that doesn’t mean it can't be guided.

“Growth in downtown, in our region, is going to happen — no matter what,” Pennington said. “How it happens is really the opportunity that we are focused on.”

Organizers said part of the focus is making it easier for people to start up businesses, which is what Fab Lab does. Fab - for fabrication - Lab helps startups learn and build the things they need in order to grow.

Katie Rast, director of Fab Lab, sees a lot of potential in its new downtown location.

“What we have here is an accessible, ground level, large, open area that we can use as a space to create just about anything,” Rast said.

David Reiner and his two partners are creating a 3D printer for human tissue. Reiner said Fab Lab is integral to his business.

“It allows us access to all kinds of machines and devices that we would otherwise not be able to afford,” Reiner said.

Fab Lab said innovation is what grows economies. Its next step is hunting down venture capital.

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