SAN DIEGO—When IDEA1 was first conceived morethan three years ago, it was considerably different than theproject that recently broke ground Downtown, panelists atCREW San Diego's lunch presentation here yesterdaytold attendees including The event, titled"IDEA1: A Case Study in Collaboration andCreativity," drew in members and guests interested inhearing more about the residential-but-flexibleproject Lowe Enterprises is developing in the EastVillage area of Downtown San Diego.

IDEA1 began as a true mixed-use concept of 50%office/50% residential, the brainchild ofMike McNerney, SVP of Lowe, DavidMalmuth and Pete Garcia fromI.D.E.A. District, McNerney said. "Pete, Dave andI formed a partnership with a compelling vision for what we wantedto do." The original idea was something different for the EastVillage, "a place to connect, collaborate and collide; to innovate;to blend work, chilling and gathering," according to the videopresented at the event.

What emerged was a largely residential project with space forground-floor residential as well as work/live ground-floor loftsaimed at "makers" or entrepreneurs. "Our original concept was anenvironment for entrepreneurs," said McNerney. "Now, we want togrow East Village companies."

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Carrie Rossenfeld

Carrie Rossenfeld is a reporter for the San Diego and Orange County markets on and a contributor to Real Estate Forum. She was a trade-magazine and newsletter editor in New York City before moving to Southern California to become a freelance writer and editor for magazines, books and websites. Rossenfeld has written extensively on topics including commercial real estate, running a medical practice, intellectual-property licensing and giftware. She has edited books about profiting from real estate and has ghostwritten a book about starting a home-based business.