Best Transit Niche Filled

San Diego Downtown Partnership shuttle program

The new shuttle program will take a year or more to get off the ground, but we’re hoping it’ll help make traveling around our compact but awkward downtown core much easier. Between one-ways, train tracks, trolleys, and a big ol’ S-curve in the I-5, we need something wily.

Polite Provisions on Adams Avenue

Best Avenue Refresh

Adams Avenue
Normal Heights

Between tony Kensington and spunky University Heights, the middle stretch of Adams Avenue in Normal Heights had languished for years. Until the past year, when Sycamore Cocktail Den, Polite Provisions, EloS Shoes, Dark Horse Coffee, and a few other cool kids joined Blind Lady Ale House on the avenue, adding some much-needed bustle to the quiet ’hood. Cheers to Normal Heights 2.0!

MQ Space

Best Thing Moving the IDEA District forward

Makers Quarter

Via a recent, cryptic East Village art-warehouse party, at which a bunch of suits drank wine out of plastic cups and half-glanced at graffiti art, came an announcement that five blocks of the 20-block IDEA District we’ve been hearing about for so long will be designated for makers and shakers of the creative class (no duh). But those behind the MQ are quick to note that it is separate and different from IDEA. Confused? You’re not alone. Expect offices, apartments, retail space, and even a “smart farm community garden.” But we think the personality of a neighborhood is usually determined after a certain set of characters squat it for a while. If you build it, will they come?

Central Library downtown

Best Addition to the Downtown Skyline

Central Library

Maybe it’s the rotund sphere, maybe it’s the silvery sheen, maybe it’s the fact that it’s finally finished. Regardless, we’re thrilled with the addition of the new Central Library to the downtown skyline. #instagramtime

Soft Body Architecture
RENDERING CREDIT: C. Shulte, R. Raymundo, M. Flynn/NSAD

Best Idea for the Border

Soft Body Architecture  

New School of Architecture and Design grad students Michael Flynn, Ryan Raymundo, and Christopher Schulte presented this badass senior thesis, on public display this past June at the downtown campus. They proposed redeveloping the portion of land known as Smuggler’s Gulch, envisioning a “new, borderless condition” in which housing and landscape could pop up naturally.

Best Use of a Wrecking Ball

Horton Plaza

Sure, we’re a little sentimental about Sam Goody biting the dust, but psyched to get a proper public square downtown. Other things we’d like to take a whack at: Hillcrest eyesores like Pernicano’s, Casa di Baffi, and the AT&T switching station (yuck).

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