Built 1985. Project Description: This ambitious multi-use open-air center includes 165 stores in nine architectural ‘districts’. The flamboyant use of color and architectural detail makes this shopping complex an attraction in its own right. The design inspiration for this complex came from the many open-air marketplaces found throughout southern Europe. Each town would have its own brand of architecture, though adhering to broad architectural customs. The architecture of Horton Plaza reflects San Diego's heritage, with abundant use of ornamental towers, terra cotta, and pastel colors. The 12.5-acre site for this project was carved out of downtown San Diego; the mixed-use character and scale make it one of the largest complexes of its kind in the country. Project cost: $140 million. Project History: The Horton Plaza complex was conceived by planners in the 1970's as the answer to the redevelopment needs of downtown San Diego. The creation in 1975 of a public nonprofit Center City Development Corporation (CCDC) provided a mechanism to allow financial partnerships with private investors, for the purpose of improving the business and employment opportunities for San Diego citizens. The cornerstone of CCDC efforts was Horton Plaza. The Corporation selected Ernest W. Hahn, Inc., as the developer of the proposed retail complex. Sponsor/Developer: Ernest W. Hahn, Inc., and Center City Development Corp. (CCDC). Size: 2.6 million sq. ft.