New UCSD Downtown Hub Park and Market Opens

Located in East Village, on the corner of Park Boulevard and Market Street, UC San Diego’s long-planned presence in Downtown San Diego opened on May 6. Located steps away from the Blue Line Trolley stop at Park & Market, the $75 million, four-story, 66,760-square-foot building promises to serve the San Diego community as a hub for civic engagement, learning, and collaboration. 

Chancellor Pradeep Khosla spoke about Park & Market’s mission and goals to the UCSD News Center. 

“Park & Market is an integral part of our mission to be a student-centered, research-focused and service-oriented university community,” said Chancellor Pradeep Khosla. “UC San Diego Park & Market is a reaffirmation of our responsibility to nurture inclusiveness, create access to our world-class resources and build vital connections locally and globally.” 

On its website, Park & Market describes its vision in three words: connection, catalyst, and commitment. The mixed-use building seeks to form multidisciplinary connections between art, science, culture, technology, civil service, etc. To do so, the building plans to host cultural events through art, music, theater, film, and food. 

The building hosts several facilities throughout the four stories. This includes:

  • The Guggenheim Theatre, a black-box theater with 225 seats
  • A cinema with 58 seats 
  • Four conference rooms
  • Three classrooms 
  • A computer lab
  • A civic collaboratory 
  • Multiple gallery spaces
  • A balcony stage with pocket theater seating
  • A dance and wellness room
  • And a cafe and bistro

Park & Market also offers spaces for events, ranging from private to full service, and boasts a capacity of more than 1000. UCSD plans to engage more than 10,000 people per year at Park & Market and hopes that its programs will allow unemployed and underemployed individuals to earn academic certificates and well-paying jobs. 

Local businessman and philanthropist Malia Burnham and his wife, Roberta Burnham, donated $3 million to the hub to support the partnership between the Burnham Center for Community Advancement and UCSD. The center will serve as a think-and-do tank where community stakeholders and partners will come together to identify regional needs, find innovative solutions, and tackle the binational region’s most pressing issues. 

“The Burnham Center for Community Advancement is here to work with like-minded organizations to solve problems, create solutions and move our binational region forward,” Malia Burnham said to the UCSD News Center. “UC San Diego Park & Market is an ideal hub for collaboration and problem-solving in downtown San Diego.”

Additionally, David and Clare Guggenheim donated $1 million to the project. In honor of their donation, the black box theater will be named the David and Clare Guggenheim Theatre. David Guggenheim explained to UCSD News Center that the theater would serve as a multidisciplinary space with many purposes and services for those who visited Park & Market. 

“Claire and I feel the Guggenheim Theatre will provide a modern, configurable space for many of our local performing arts organizations, for in-person and Zoom classes, and many other uses,” said David Guggenheim. “We are excited that Park & Market, with its downtown location, will help expose UC San Diego to a whole new audience, to many underserved individuals who might have felt a disconnect with the La Jolla campus.”

The building will also include the collaboration of multiple partners, including: 

The Park & Market website has more information on their building and events. To become more involved with Park & Market, their Director of Asset Management and Community Partnerships Todd Miller can be reached at (858) 534-7479 or at [email protected]

Photo taken by Erik Jepsen for the UC San Diego News Center