Mark your calendars for this year’s Taste of Hillcrest on April 18th from noon to 4 PM. The Hillcrest Trolley will be running to help get you to the 40+ establishments taking part in the event… This Saturday is the rescheduled date for the Hillcrest clean-up event The Great Spring Cleaning, which runs from 8 AM to noon and has two starting points:
Location One: Hillcrest Shell, corner of Washington and Fourth. Volunteers will clean the Medical District & Hillcrest Core. Map
Location Two: Heat Bar and Kitchen, 3797 Park Blvd. (just south of University) Volunteers will clean the east side Hillcrest. Map
Speaking of Heat, they’ve been promoting their block’s Egyptian architectural character through quarterly events, and next Friday March 20th is the third quarterly Hillcrest movie night there. The event starts at 6 PM at 3811 Park Blvd, with the movie (Wizard of Oz) starting at 8.
Last week’s Uptown Planners election result was a pleasant surprise, with Hillcrest’s Michael Brennan and Kyle Heiskala securing seats on the board. Thanks so much to everyone who turned out to vote. I think Michael and Kyle will provide long-needed voices on Uptown Planners in support of safer streets for people on bikes. And given the board’s encouraging vote in support of the city’s Climate Action Plan (only Jim Mellos voted no) and the plan’s lofty bike mode share goals, the timing is right. Congratulations to Dana Hook of Bankers Hill too, whom Walt Chambers of Great Streets SD describes as an “engineer who gets urbanism”.
The second San Diego Bikes and Beers Ride is on March 28th and will feature a festival at the Quartyard downtown (which just celebrated its grand opening with a sold-out event). Registering for the ride gets you a free one-year membership to Bike SD. With big bike infrastructure changes coming to San Diego (and being strongly opposed in the College Area, Bankers Hill, and Mission Hills), it’s an ideal time to join and make a difference. Plus the event was a ton of fun last year!
Downtown is seeing some new business tenants, following the national trend of companies moving to urban cores where younger workers prefer to live and work. Underground Elephant is moving into the long-vacant TR Produce building across from Petco Park, and the company aims to ‘reduce air pollution by encouraging employees to walk, bike, or take public transit to work. The office space will include a locker room with showers for workers. “We made bike racks a significant part of the office,” said CEO Jason Kulpa.’ And Houzz has opened a San Diego office in Diamond View. Meanwhile Qualcomm is building another parking garage and freeway off-ramp in Sorrento Valley (kidding!).
At a “Community Benefits Consensus Project” workshop a few weeks later in January Civic San Diego presented storyboards of projects that they thought best exemplified how a development can provide “community benefits.” The board that caught my attention featured “The Pinnacle,” a 480 foot tall luxury condominium project at the corner of 15th and Island Avenue. So now the beast had a name and a story.
When I first beheld the Pinnacle I wondered what the residents of Greater Golden Hill and other affected communities must think of this new feature which greets them anytime they look out a window or down a street with a southern view. As I have discovered it is hard not to see this one feature from many other vantage points in and near Balboa Park.
Yes, you will be able to see a high-rise in East Village if you look downtown from Golden Hill. In my mind, that’s another sign of a long-struggling neighborhood that continues to improve, but to each their own.
– We received our refund check from SoCal Water Smart for removing our lawn and replacing it with low-water landscaping and drip irrigation. We’re still waiting on our rebate from the city, but that program is no longer accepting new applications at this time. Between the two rebates, we’re hoping to get nearly $8K! That’s about how much we spent on materials and labor. Here’s a few pictures of the “completed” project, but we’ll be tweaking it as time goes on (the turf-like area is a low-water groundcover named dymondia):