Horton Plaza to become a hub for out-of-town techies, cites Bay Area as inspiration

Horton Plaza.jpg

The San Diego City Council has unanimously voted on Monday to turn all of Horton Plaza's 900,000 square-foot property into a giant tech-campus, dubbed "The Campus at Horton,” a project led by real-estate development firm, Stockdale Capital Partners.

As outlined in Stockdale's plan, this development includes constructing expansive workspaces where the Nordstrom used to be, retail outposts covering the second floor, and "hip work zones" for millennials to eat, drink, and work out in, "in quintessential San Diego-style,” (whatever that means).

When describing the desired outcome for the development, Stockdale Capital's director was quoted as saying: “There's an incredible opportunity to capture primarily Bay Area technology tenants who are looking to expand outside a very expensive San Francisco." The keyword here: Primarily. In the midst of a local housing crisis, homeless crisis, and (to be real) bro crisis, it seems questionable to publicly say that you're desired outcome in building a giant campus is to attract wealthy Bay Area techies. Others have opposing views, however.

City Councilmember Barbara Bry stated that she is looking forward to the project helping retain UCSD and SDSU students who would otherwise leave San Diego for outside careers in technology: "I'm particularly excited that this will be another incentive to keep graduates in San Diego. UCSD has said that within five years, we lose about half of the engineering graduates to other cities."

On our end, this millennial-friendly angle of real estate is always so goddamn cringey and transparent to see. No matter the "This will make San Diego a cultural force!" recycled campaign that all those developers ride in, rarely is it ever about San Diego. Or at least the real San Diego and what's left of it. Of course, It's obviously too early to tell what property like this can do economically for San Diego as a whole, but if the barren, pseudo-artsy "luxury" condos just north of the mall are of any reflection, then its future seems startlingly bleak.