Entrepreneur Jonathan Segal opened his architectural practice in 1990 and then promptly ditched most of his clients. Serving as his own developer and contractor, Segal has since designed, financed, and built roughly two dozen infill buildings in downtown San Diego, carving out a niche that many have aspired to emulate. Contemporary and yet budget-smart (most are built for less than $100 per square foot), his boutique projects have sparked revitalization efforts in several declining neighborhoods, adding to their eclectic appeal. It should come as no surprise that Segal's designs skew as experimental as his business model, often blending workforce or low-income rental housing with mixed use commercial space, live/work, adaptive reuse, sustainable materials, or renewable energy systems. K Lofts is one such venture that proves that hip and affordable needn't be mutually exclusive.

Architect/developer/contractor: Jonathan Segal Architect

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Diego, CA.