San Diego Downtown Communities
Columbia District is just one of a long list of San Diego downtown communities and is located south of Little Italy, north of Marina district. The downtown townhouses and condos in the Columbia area are not only the most exclusive townhouses and condos in downtown, but the most luxurious as well. With the waterfront as your backyard, this expansive and breath taking views of the Pacific Ocean are from some of the most known condominiums, such as Grande at Santa Fe Place – North and South Towers, Treo , the new developments suchas Electra, The Sapphire Tower, and the most luxurious new high-rise development, Bayside by Bosa. City landmarks include: The Museum of Modern Art, the Historic Santa Fe Train Depot, the Cruise Ship Terminals, and the Embarcadero Promenade. The Federal and County courthouses, the State Office Building and Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum. There will be lot of new development along the waterfront over the next few years including, The North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, the Broadway Pier, and the Lane Field Development. The North Embarcadero Visionary Plan will include a 100ft. wide pedestrian pier stretching from Market to Laurel with restaurants and local boutique shopping and will become a San Diego downtown landmark. More than $5,000,000 is designated for public amenities. The Columbia district will be one of the centers of luxury urban living in Downtown San Diego from new luxury hotels, office buildings, huge residential skyline towers, and waterfront expansion. The new amenities will help create exciting p lace to live and relax.
In the heart of Downtown is the Core district. The Core district stretches from ‘A’ street to Broadway and Union to 12th Ave. The successful revitalization of this area started in 1975. The development of the Core has been a crucial element to stimulating San Diego’s downtown communities . Alonzo Horton began hotel and retail construction and development in the 1860’s to 1920’s. Today, Core is the upscale, trendy and fashionable shopping center. Horton Plaza is surrounded by many old buildings that have been renovated for new residential and commercial uses, luring people in this neighborhood. The Core serves as the San Diego region’s corporate hub with government buildings such as the Civic Center, Small Business Administration, the World Trade Center and City Hall. Existing notable structures in the Core include the beautiful Westgate and U.S. Grant hotels. Community concourse, the high rise office buildings dubbed as “Financial Corridor” sit along with B Street. The Trolley stop is on C street, easily accessible to get in the city’s main area of day and night activities.
This downtown district is one of the oldest and most distinctive of San Diego’s downtown communities. This residential neighborhood sits on top Cortez Hill and is named after the historic El Cortez Hotel. Cortez Hill consists of two neighborhoods: the Cortez Hill on the east side of Sixth Avenue which sits on the highest part of downtown San Diego and Cortez West, on the flat end west of Sixth Avenue. Cortez Hill location boasts some of the best views of downtown San Diego,Coronado Bridge, the bay, the mountains, the Pacific Ocean and Balboa Park–which is just a few blocks away. You will find high rise luxury buildings, modern lofts and apartments, row homes, town homes, and original Victorian style dwellings which add diversity and lot of charm to this intimate neighborhood. In the spring season you can enjoy the beauty of lavender jacaranda trees against San Diego’s sunny blue sky. This quiet and peaceful neighborhood’s topography separates this area from the downtown hustle, yet it is remains a close distance to all the action. In 1992 the redevelopment agency revived this district by developing the hill by encouraging a mix of residential and commercial infill. Shops and sidewalks cafes line Fifth and Sixth Avenues with Ash Street providing directions to the waterfront. Over the next few years this San Diego downtown neighborhood will experience it’s fair infrastructure and residential development. Upcoming developments include 6,000 square feet of retail space, 758 residents units and the Cortez Hill neighborhood Park/Tweet Street.
East Village is one of the largest and fastest growing neighborhoods among the San Diego downtown communities, with 325 acres encompassing 130 blocks, from 6th Street to 16th Street. East Village was once a series of warehouses and vacant lots. In 1990, East Village became a community for artists and social services and Home of the San Diego Padres. In 2005 when the Petco Park was established, it also became known as the Ballpark District, and aspects of residential living near a major league baseball stadium became a reality. Developers saw the potential in East Village and started buying parcel after parcel, awaiting a redevelopment boom in downtown’s East Village. They were right on the money. Housing prices in the projects developed and escalated dramatically. Now there are more than 4,000 new residences. The revitalization of these once former warehouses, empty lots, and rundown buildings has been transformed into new charming residential lofts and condos. Other projects include: Park at the Park- a picnic area and neighborhood park; East Village Square- a 500,000 square foot retail, entertainment and office development north of the ballpark; Campus at the Park- space for technology and office buildings on Park Boulevard; and the Park to Bay Link- a tree-lined promenade linking Balboa Park and San Diego Bay along Twelfth Avenue. Four hotels, a new main San Diego Library and numerous public improvements are planned.
The Historic Gaslamp District is a well-known neighborhood and is definitely part of the coveted list of San Diego downtown communities. Development began in the 1860s, when Alonzo Horton arrived in San Diego and purchased 800 acres of land for $265 and started construction. The name “Gaslamp Quarter” is a reference to the gas lamps that were very common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This neighborhood was once the center of gambling halls and baudy houses. Chinese railroad workers were the original visitors of the 1880’s. San Diego remained a popular navy port until 1912 when city officials cracked down on brothels and saloons. The modern Gaslamp is now one of San Diego’s favorite places for visitors. Heart of the Gaslamp is Fifth Avenue and on either side Fourth Avenue and Sixth Ave. With more than 100 restaurants, many trendy night clubs, unique shops, cafes, galleries and lofts, it is buzzing with energy and activity. Petco Park, Horton Plaza, Sea Port Village and the Convention Center are the landmarks of downtown San Diego. Condos, townhouses, lofts and studios in a very desirable location are for those that enjoy living and working in the middle of it all.
In the early 1980’s, this was the first neighborhood where the development began. It is conveniently located near Ralph’s Grocery Store, Seaport Village, shopping and theaters. Horton Plaza was one of the first San Diego downtown communities to become a revitalizing project. The architectural design was, at first, a bit controversial–it is painted in forty-three different colors! Can you imagine that? However, the festive feel of this unique shopping mall–more than a shopping mall really– soon became well liked and the biggest problem anyone had was remembering the”Fruit”level where they had parked their car. Have any purchase receipt from Horton Plaza validated and the first three hours of parking is free. There are enough shopping choices to appease the whole family, and places to eat good food at every budget level. The newest movies play at the multiplex and downstairs the Lyceum Theater offers great plays and musicals. At the top level you can see the umbrellas of one of the restaurants. There are escalators and elevators at each end of the Plaza and stairs throughout. This is a favorite shopping mall and what makes it a must see in my book is the fact that there are items and shops to suit every budget & interest level, especially I like that every day there is something going on that makes a simple pause on a bench entertaining. Not only a shopping area, the Horton Plaza offers a casual setting for gatherings, dining or sipping a tea or coffee. It is walking distance from the downtown train station at Kettner and Broadway as well as the Gaslamp Quarter. Meridian offers luxury condominiums, valet parking, 24-hour security, and landscaped gardens in the heart of downtown San Diego.
Among the exclusive cultural downtown communities in San Diego is Little Italy, located on the Northern section of Downtown. Named after the Italian American immigrants who moved from Genoa and Sicily to San Diego and made a living from the highly successful fishing industry. Two of the most important fixtures that remain in the community are the Washington Elementary School and Our Lady of the Rosary Church. The re-built India Street in Little Italy today thrives with hip and cozy little cafes, outside eating, small gourmet food markets, memorabilia shops and Italian restaurants. During special events related to Italian culture, many of these family owned restaurants let you try their specialties. Some of the best Italian fine food and delis can be found on India Street. Organized by The Little Italy Association, Little Italy is chosen place to have majority of events and festivals throughout the year such as, Little Italy Carnival (Mardi Gras), the largest Art Walk in San Diego region, Festivale Siciliano, Italian Motorsport Show, and Precious Fiesta. Wow…this busy district is alive with culture! Every Saturday, Little Italy hosts Mercato. This Italian market features vegetables, fruits from local farmers, local bakeries and pastries and art from Little Italy’s very own artists. Little Italy is a great place to live–with its many new condos, eateries and shops all within walking distance. Few buildings have been renovated, such as modern high-rise condominiums with views of the bay; mid-level charming and colorful contemporary homes with huge archways, restored Victorian-era buildings and lofts with ground floor shops and a few commercial buildings, all prove the diverse mixture of opportunity and comfort.
The list of San Diego downtown communities would not be complete without mentioning the Marina district, a premier neighborhood that could easily be considered the most beautiful and desirable of the 7 downtown districts. It is bordered to the north by the Colombia District, and border of the Gaslamp District. You can now find luxury high rise buildings, town homes and mid-rise complexes. This neighborhood includes the Children’s Museum, Sea Port Village, Martin Luther Promenade and the San Diego Convention Center. This is a peaceful neighborhood with tree-lined streets. This district used to be full of huge warehouses and plenty of vacant lots, prior to the surge of development. Historic Pantoja Park was expanded with the first development and joined by Children’s Park and the unique King Promenade. Some of the downtown’s rich cultural history is here, as the Asian/Pacific Thematic Historic District recognizes cultural contributions to the development of this city and the international Children’s Museum reaches out to future generations.
Please call us for a guided tour of the homes for sale in the various San Diego downtown communities: (619) 777-8354.