Construction begins on 7-story off-campus science and medical tower for UC San Diego
A sign that UC San Diego is starting to run out of space for large buildings, a private developer is set to inaugurate a 7-story tower that the university will use to house health and medicine programs across from the main campus.
The $ 70 million La Jolla Innovation Center (LJIC) will be located at the corner of Villa La Jolla Drive and La Jolla Village Drive, near the southwest edge of UCSD, where the number of registrations could be exceed 40,500 this fall.
The university says one of the factors behind its need for cool space is that many of the buildings it already uses on and off campus in the health sciences and medicine require expensive seismic upgrades and disruptive.
Construction will begin next month on LJIC, which represents a public-private partnership between UCSD and GPI companies, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment and development company.
The University of California board of trustees is purchasing the one-acre construction site from GPI, which will design, finance, build and maintain the tower, which will have approximately 110,000 square feet of space, according to UCSD. The campus will rent the building from GPI.
LJIC will be adjacent to many of the buildings that UCSD already rents and will be right across from UC San Diego Medical School and the VA Medical Center. This area is expected to become much busier later this year when Blue Line tram stations open nearby.
The new center will be 100 feet high, which aroused opposition earlier this year at a meeting of the University’s Community Planning Group. Some people have said the building should be no more than 30 feet to make sure it meets the Prop D height limit, City Coastal Zone.
“I support (UCSD) ‘s Long Term Development Plan and appreciate their investment in public infrastructure,” San Diego City Councilor Joe LaCava told the Union-Tribune in an email. “The development of off-campus properties must respect, not anticipate, the City’s land use regulations. Collaborative conversations between university and city ensure that the needs and goals of both can be achieved.
The UCSD said in a planning document: “As a constitutionally established state entity, the university is not subject to the municipal plans, policies and regulations of the surrounding local governments, such as the general plan of the city or its area of overlap of the coastal height limits. “
The campus is currently in the midst of a construction boom that includes a new engineering building, an innovation and design center, and a residential complex that will accommodate 2,000 students.