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Campus – Horton Plaza is Extremely Important to Downtown’s Growth

The Campus at Horton Plaza is, without a doubt, one of the most anticipated projects in Downtown San Diego. With Phase 1’s expected completion less than 1 year away, this is a very exciting time! But what makes this project so special?

This project is important for Downtown San Diego for several reasons. The first thing that comes to mind is job growth in high paying job sectors, but what are the other reasons? In this article, I am going over the project’s details, job growth, sustainability, and my thoughts on what it will do for Downtown San Diego.

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Campus – Horton Plaza

  • 389,000 Sq Ft designed for Life Science
  • 683,000 Sq Ft of Office (inc. the Life Science space)
  • 264,000 Sq Ft of Retail/Restaurants
  • Former movie theatre space remains undecided
  • Former Macy’s Building will be part of Phase 2
  • Developer: Stockdale Capital Partners

*Plans subject to change.

Details on the Overall Plan

The project appears to be extremely well thought out and focused on making the previously puzzling mall a better experience. The developer is expecting to finish the exterior of the first phase by the end of this year (2022) and is anticipating the spaces can be released to the tenants so they can begin their interior build outs early in 2023. There are several very large components to the project that previously housed the anchor tenants for the mall. These large components consisted of the former Nordstrom’s, Macys, Mervyns and the movie theater.

The former Nordstrom’s is what Stockdale Capital Partners considers to be the flagship building of the project. They added 5 stories to this building, which is now a 10 story structure with floor to ceiling windows. This structure is approximately 389,000 sq ft specifically designed for life science tenants. There are 17 foot ceilings and each floor is about 40,000 sq ft. They plan on having a restaurant located along first avenue in the space where 24 hour fitness previously was.

The 5 story building where Mervyns once was is expected to be a mix of office space and retail. The office space will be approximately 205,000 sq ft and will be designed for tech tenants. This building will also have around 51,000 sq ft of retail. Each floor will be anywhere from 50,000 – 60,000 sq ft.

The movie theater and Macy’s still remains undecided. Jimmy Parker, with Stockdale Capital Partners, mentioned that the they are open to keeping the movie theater and that they have prospects. They also have interest from a fitness club, which would want to also extend the space onto the rooftop of the parking garage. It appears the Macy’s will remain as is until the next phase.

This information was gathered from multiple sources, including the San Diego Business Journal and San Diego Union Tribune.


This project is the largest adaptive reuse project in the United States according to the website for the project. The developer used most of the existing structures and through repurposing and reusing materials, they claim they were able to reduce their carbon footprint by 60%. In addition, Campus – Horton Plaza is pledging a net zero carbon footprint through 2040, which is unprecedented for a project of this size!

The Campus at Horton will include solar panels across 10 acres of roof top! Not only does this generate renewable energy, but it also decreases the energy costs for the tenants according to their website! With some of the most expensive energy costs in the country, I am sure this is welcomed news for prospective tenants! I think this is a concept that we will see more widely used in large scale projects across the United States.

In addition to renewable energy, the project will have, what is possibly, the largest blackwater system. If you are not familiar with blackwater systems, on a high level they filter waste water to reuse for landscaping and other non consumable water needs such as flush fixtures (toilets). Their website states they are anticipating this will save 7.5 million gallons of water per year! Considering Southern California is in a severe drought, this is great news for our city. This could encourage future large scale developments to follow suit.

What Does It Do For The Area?

Job growth is essential for Downtown San Diego’s future and this is one of the largest projects promoting growth in high paying sectors. Not only does it keep consistent demand for housing, but it encourages other developers to build housing, retail and even more office space. It also helps keep local businesses flourishing, rather than having to close their doors.

Outside of job growth, this project adds so much to the overall feel of the neighborhood. It adds life, businesses, and excitement. Downtown San Diego has always been a tourist destination, but a great downtown needs to be more than that. It needs to be a job center and a hub for innovation. In my opinion, this project delivers just that on so many levels!

If you haven’t visited their website, they did an amazing job on it. Visit their site by clicking the button below.

Campus at Horton Plaza

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Give me a call today at (619) 228-6790 or email me at Ryan@livingthesandiegolife.com for more information or to schedule a tour of the neighborhood!

And Always Remember, It Matters Who You Work With!