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Art in Private Development Projects

In 2004, the Mayor and City Council unanimously approved amendments to San Diego Municipal Code for Art in Private Development (PDF) resulting in a mandatory set-aside of .5% - 1% for art and/or space for cultural use in non-residential development projects with a total building permit valuation of $5 million or more.

Throughout the country, private developers are discovering that including artwork can enhance the overall quality of a project and give it a unique character, not achievable in other ways. Public art and cultural facilities in private development can heighten the image and the value of a project and its income producing potential. Tenants like artwork and the identity it gives a building. Some developers feel strongly that works of art increase the value of the property itself and others have found that spending money on public art and cultural amenities can generate as much press as a public relations campaign, garnering more good will in the process. Supporting the arts through private development is a way to give back to the community in return for the ability to build. Public art also provides a chance for developers to work with artists and be part of the creative process.