El Cajon Boulevard in North Park has always had a lot of potential for new residential growth – it’s well-served by public transit (including the new rapid 215 route starting next month), and as a commercial corridor, it would allow for mixed-use development while preserving the remaining Craftsman architecture in the area. Yet apart from the circa-2000 residential projects at 30th, few new units have been added. That’s about to change with the purchase of the long-vacant structure at 2030 El Cajon, the former lighting business that was decorated with murals years ago:

This and the adjacent buildings on the lot will be replaced with a 180-unit mixed use building. There’s a rendering of it on the North Park Facebook page which I can’t get to display here. Not too crazy about the design, to be honest, but it’s good to hear that “North Park is seeing significant interest from developers looking for high-quality infill sites, especially entitled sites of this scale”, according to the above article.

The same developer has also purchased the Pole Position strip club across from Tiger Tiger. Now if we can just get someone to buy the old Blockbuster building across from 2030 El Cajon… On a related note, City Beat points out “Officials are well on their way to putting together a $100-million investment fund aimed at building high-density “transit villages” along sections of El Cajon Boulevard and Imperial Avenue”.

– Speaking of unused potential, I was riding the trolley a few weeks ago and gazed out on the large empty lot just west of Fashion Valley and the golf course that extends from there almost all the way to I-5. While San Diego has become extremely unaffordable for many residents, one way to address it is by building housing near transit. Now here’s a huge developable area next to the trolley – and it’s still being used for a golf course? So it was good news to hear this area will finally be developed with 4000 units over 20 years as the $2 billion Riverfront Project, along with a new trolley station.

– Meanwhile, developers are tearing down the low-quality 1970’s office buildings that take up way too much space in Mission Valley, to build multi-family housing:

After the three Class C buildings at 6950, 7020, and 7050 Friars Road are leveled, LandCap would construct a multifamily development of 180 to 200-plus units on the vacant 5.42-acre lot.
Hinckley said he, along with Holbrook and Degler, are eying other properties in Mission Valley where they might tear down other office buildings to develop more multifamily projects.
Hinckley said this is a trend that will likely lead to an eventual transformation of much of Mission Valley, where so-called “woody walkup” office buildings predominate.
Alan Nevin — the Xpera Group economic and market research director, who was instrumental in putting the LandCap deal together — said that the demolition of obsolete office buildings in favor of multifamily or mixed-use projects is something that needs to happen in a valley with too much low-quality office space.

More good news on housing as neighbor complaints against mixed-use project BLVD63 have been tossed out by a judge. For a community that passed a ban on converting houses into mini-dorms a while back, you’d think they’d be a bit more open-minded about addressing the demand for housing that caused the conversions… Back in North Park, that International Fashion Company (which is neither international nor fashionable) space is up for lease – finally… Also in North Park, there’s a happy hour smart growth conversation next Wednesday at the Modern Times Flavordome:

We are gathering some of the community’s top experts, planners and Council President Todd Gloria to discuss the subject of Smart Growth. This interactive and lively meeting of the minds will focus on creative urban design and ways to build attractive places for people to live work and play.

– Here in Kensington, Kensington Video is also finally closing. We used to enjoy going there but stopped once we got Netflix. While KV was a unique, funky place oozing with neighborhood history, it also featured an aromatic carpet and hadn’t seen a fresh coat of exterior paint since before we moved here in 2000. And what was with the bars on the windows and closing at 7 PM? I won’t miss those reminders of how far Kensington has come in the past 20 years… Meanwhile, right around the corner from us, Pappalecco is opening another location.

– This being San Diego, not everything is kosher on the land use front. Couples are still buying houses 65 miles from downtown and driving separately each way, each day of the week. Did you know long commutes are associated with the following health impacts: higher blood pressure; higher stress; greater exhaustion; greater risk of heart disease; higher blood sugar; higher cholesterol; more missed days of work; less sleep; greater daytime sleepiness; greater risk of depression, anxiety and social isolation… A parklet was added next to the Live Wire at El Cajon and Alabama, with Todd Gloria there to celebrate Park(ing) Day:


…but not everyone shared the enthusiasm:

A bar-goer complaining about reduced parking on a street that actually *added* spaces after a head-in parking conversion, plus a new parklet. Why not just take Uber or Lyft if you need to drive to the bar?

– Over in East Village, the owner of several bars complains that more needs to be done to provide affordable parking, yet doesn’t say how that should be done, or who should pay for it. Doesn’t the city already provide abundant cheap/free on-street parking?

Parking in East Village is expensive because of demand – the neighborhood is popular after decades of neglect. This demand also drives up land costs (and in turn, parking lot/garage costs). Land costs are determined by supply and demand – and parking shouldn’t be? We have little affordable housing downtown, but affordable parking is job #1 for some I guess.

– It’s the friendly (“Live somewhere else!”) community of Bay Park that still takes the NIMBY cake in San Diego these days. A bunch of grumpy baby boomers took to the streets last weekend to remind us that it’s their “ease of access” to Morena Boulevard (by car of course – there was no sidewalk on Morena where they were marching in the photo below) that’s way more important than whether their kids can afford to live there:

While they raised a balloon to protest the proposed 60 foot height limit, this isn’t just about putting their view of a man-made lagoon above the city’s middle-class housing crisis. No, it’s really about keeping all new housing and traffic out of Bay Park – James Lamattery of Raise the Balloon is even quoted as saying “we don’t want any condos or apartments in our community”.

Older residents that have always driven everywhere are unable to comprehend that younger San Diegans just might use that trolley going in right next door (the protesters largely oppose that too). This despite a record 95 million passenger trips on the trolley last year, and strong demand for mass transit by younger Americans. Listen to the “ease of access” link above or the “dense development” clip below and it sure sounds like a war on millennials by what some call the most selfish generation our country has produced.

Just-barely-a-boomer councilman Ed Harris was along for the ride, proclaiming that “San Diego needs dense development, just not (in my district)“. For a guy who doesn’t even need to worry about re-election, that’s some real political courage!

– We’re all familiar with the Ed Harris brand of NIMBYism, but a different kind gurgled up in South Park recently with the announcement of a tiny Target at the Gala Foods store. My favorite reaction quote had to be “No Target in my neighborhood! I prefer to drive to Mission Valley Target – I know I’m selfish”. Hey, I’m not thrilled about the (tiny) Target, but people who want to keep their neighborhood pure of “corporate America” (while demanding a corporate Trader Joes/Whole Foods/etc for the site instead) then drive all the way to Mission Valley come off as a bit hypocritical. What about the benefits of reduced/shorter vehicle trips, freeway traffic and carbon emissions as people walk/bike/bus/short drive to a Target in their own neighborhood? Again, the major concern appeared to be increased traffic, but any business that’s marginally more successful than the failing Gala will generate more traffic.

As I’ve reduced my annual vehicle mileage from 12K to 6K per year, I have intimate knowledge that driving is the most convenient mode of transit for much of San Diego. From sweaty bike rides up steep hills to late-arriving buses, mixing in alternative transit to your trips can be a challenge. But driving becomes less convenient once a region reaches a certain population. That’s when it makes sense for public transit to be more convenient to give people more options. Instead of widening 30th for (tiny) Target’s additional car traffic, why not lobby for more frequent bus service and/or lines for the neighborhood?

4 Responses to new development for el cajon blvd


Alan Hays

October 1st, 2014 at 11:30 pm

I find it comical most of the people complaining about the Baypark height limit are screaming about the “view”. What view?!? I lived in Baypark for several years and unless you are lucky enough / rich enough to have a house up in the hills (where the 60 ft limit proposal will not impact you), your view is one of the following:

– I-5,
– Hedgerows blocking I-5 as a quasi-sound barrier
– Train tracks with hedgerows / trees behind them

…..Good grief. I think there are some legitimate concerns about traffic and parking if they proceed though and I think that argument could carry the day if this goes to serious discussion. The City Council is utterly spineless, so I doubt this will proceed unfortunately.


Paul Jamason

October 3rd, 2014 at 10:39 am

Hi Alan, I agree with you on the view issue. Raise the Balloon’s James Lamattery’s residence (the address is available on Zabasearch) appears to be up in the hills with a bay view. Current Zillow estimate for the property is $738K, and there’s a Mercedes in the driveway on the Google maps street view. Yet the tax assessment on the house is for only $400K, because it was purchased in 1991.

So we have an older, wealthy homeowner on a hill, paying Prop-13 reduced taxes, leading the fight against much-needed housing for younger San Diegans because of his bay view. IMO that’s deeply wrong, but I also understand many don’t share that opinion.

Does Lamattery’s property deed prohibit development on Morena from affecting the view? Further, many of these future condominium owners would likely be paying the same or more in property taxes than he does. Bay Park residents use the “San Diego doesn’t have the infrastructure” argument to oppose new development, yet higher-density new condos would provide much more revenue per acre than the residences on Lamattery’s street – effectively subsidizing their (and my – we own a single family home) low density.



October 9th, 2014 at 8:39 am

Nice post! I pass the 2030 El Cajon Blvd building often and have been wondering why it had been vacant in such a hot area. I will however claim this as being in my neighborhood, the oft-mislabeled University Heights :)


paul jamason

October 9th, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Thanks Broderick. I’ve been stumped as to why it’s taken so long to develop prime locations like this along El Cajon Boulevard. There’s such demand to live in Uptown based on rental and home prices. Maybe the property owners just wanted too much money? I’m excited that things are finally moving now with multiple projects planned for ECB, University and 30th.

Comment Form

Friday is Park(ing) Day, and BikeSD has a complete listing of the 15+ spaces around town where on-street parking will be temporarily reclaimed for everyone. The “cycle-track exhibit from 8-10 AM at Normal St and Harvey Milk St.” in Hillcrest looks particularly interesting… That’s about the same location where Hillcrest will be getting a car-charging station with state grant money; at a recent Uptown Parking District meeting, a letter of support for the station was approved… Elsewhere in Hillcrest, Pernicano’s is finally up for sale, at what seems to be a crazy $12 million asking price. I thought this might be a wakeup call for the “Hillcrest needs a parking garage!” crowd – after all, who’s going to pay that much just to tear down a building for a garage? Well, some in Hillcrest actually expect SANDAG to pay for it, using its bike lane funding on parking instead of actual bike lanes:


If and when Pernicano’s does sell, I’d like to see ground-floor retail with affordable/middle-class housing above, or a boutique hotel. At $12 million, that’s going to be pretty difficult with a 65 foot height limit.

The tweet above was from the Hillcrest Business Association’s (HBA) meeting at Bombay restaurant (thanks Bombay for hosting, and the ample food) on Jim Frost’s Transform Hillcrest bike proposal. City and SANDAG officials were also there, with SANDAG saying they got the message of Hillcrest’s near-universal endorsement of Frost’s plan: that travel lanes could be removed on University in order to add safe bike lanes and retain on-street parking.

It was very disappointing to see the Business Association still pushing for a Washington Avenue version of the plan, named the “Hillcrest Jog” that runs on Washington until 8th Ave. In fact, the HBA’s presentation was almost entirely about parking, not bike lanes – e.g., how much parking has been added to Hillcrest, how the bike plan project had to add *more* parking! Obviously, parking is still more important to the HBA than place-making, or the safety of its residents/visitors who bike or walk. When you add in the HBA head calling for all buses to be removed from University, it’s a sad commentary on their priorities and how out of touch they are with transportation trends.

There are many reasons why the Hillcrest Jog won’t work, and they’ve all been voiced before – bike route indirectness, car/bike conflicts at University and Washington, space issues with the bridge abutments on Washington, another set of parking battles with Mission Hills merchants, etc. Mo’s Universe owner Chris Shaw must be behind the continued attempts to move the bike lanes off his street, even long after University has been selected as the official route. While there’s plenty of off-street paid parking around Urban Mo’s, including another 40 new spaces at the IBEW lot, it seems nothing will stop the never-ending quest to preserve every last precious public princess parking place in west Hillcrest. And that’s a shame, because people will always go to this immensely popular Hillcrest institution, even if they have to walk a block or two.

Elsewhere in the gayborhood, the new Tajima on 6th was full on a recent visit:



I’m usually out of luck at ramen spots due to my egg intolerance but Tajima has a tasty vegan ramen, and there’s plenty of appetizers (karaage, takoyaki [wheat cakes with octopus]) and mini-rice bowls to fill you up, along with $1.50 beers until 7 PM.

Over at the north end of 30th, the folks at Butler Malick pass along some updates on the area around their newest mixed-use project at 4640 30th St:

We’re developing a new mixed use project at the final node of 30th Street. There seems to be a lot of activity around us. Two new
eateries are planned on either side of Polite Provisions, Fall brewing is going in a block South of us, a new gourmet donut shop is going in
next to Island Grinds, Poor House brewing looks to be expanding, and there is a new residential project that started construction just
South of Poor House.

I really think the arrival of Polite Provisions / Soda & Swine (and what an amazing job they did with the old Kadan space), was a huge positive step for 30th & Adams, and the new residential and commercial establishments going in all around them are proof.

Down 30th, Dark Horse Coffee *is* going in next door to Waypoint, as some suggested… at the North Parker, Underbelly had their soft opening this week, meaning all the retail slots in the building are now open. We dropped by Tacos La Perla last weekend (good, but hard to beat that atun ahumado [tuna] taco at City Tacos) and it’s amazing to see just how vibrant this corner is now, compared to before. Great to hear the bike rack on-street bike corral is going in too.  Also – there’s a benefit for the San Diego River Park Foundation at Modern Times Sunday from 3-5 PM; $1/pint goes to the organization.


…And yet, some still criticize the North Parker for being ugly and out of place. Considering what was there before, I am at a loss as to how people could think this, but it serves as an eye-opener to just how resistant many in this city are to change. Across the street, Mosaic Wine Bar is up for sale.

On Park, Eater says the former Babbo Grande is set to be a Slater’s 50/50 offshoot: S&M Sausage & Meat, opening in October… In Balboa Park, Panama 66 has extended their hours to 9 or 10 PM, and installed a new bar. Enjoy these warm nights in the park while you can; I still think having a quality craft beer bar in Balboa Park is one of the coolest things to happen here recently… SD Uptown News says The Rabbit Hole will be doing a comfort food concept in the former Heights Tavern spot, and will be open in time for Adams Avenue Street Fair next weekend.

Downtown, the Quartyard at Market and Park is going to have all kinds of stuff – a park, dog run, another Slaters S&M, a Meshugga Shack coffee shop, food trucks, and a beer garden – and should be “activated” in 90 days. Wow. And given the location, that’s about as urban as it gets for San Diego.

Now compare that to Liberty Station, the low-rise housing-and-commercial development in Point Loma, which has a website with an actual parking lot directory. Is that a place you’d call an “urban area”? That’s exactly how it was described in a U-T article about the forthcoming
Liberty Station Food Market:


More info on the market:

San Diego is poised to get it’s first-ever food hall with the announcement of LIBERTY PUBLIC MARKET, a 22,000 square-foot artisans mecca to be filled with a carefully curated lineup of 30+ specialty purveyors. The $3 million project lies in the hands of Coronado native David Spatafore, Principal of Blue Bridge Hospitality, who is partnering with Liberty Station’s developer, The McMillin Companies, to transform the 1920s-era warehouse-syle building into an indoor-outdoor public market by June of 2015. Spatafore’s marketplace concept is reminiscent of similar public markets sweeping the nation, such as: Napa’s Oxbow Public Market, Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market and Vancouver’s Granville Island, and will operate as a co-op, giving small business owners a brick & mortar platform to showcase their products on a larger scale without the commitment or contracts of a formal lease at Liberty Station.

I’m excited about this project (especially since it’s right next door to Stone) but I think food markets work best in urban areas. Reading Terminal, Granville Island, Chelsea Market, Cleveland’s Westside Market, SF’s Ferry Terminal, London’s Borough Market, and Seattle’s Pike Place are all accessible via multiple public transit options. Meanwhile, if you want to get to Liberty Station, you’re probably going to need a car. Its single bus line requires a transfer at Old Town, and there’s no direct service from downtown (the nearest stop is a 13-minute walk, according to google maps). If the Liberty Station Food Market is going to be truly “accessible to everyone” as their press release says, how about making it accessible to those who can’t (or choose not to) get there by car?

Last but not least: Decobike has posted their final bike share station map, with site installation starting later this month… Thanks to Our City San Diego and the World Resources Sim Center for inviting us to their Top 10 San Diego blogs event last week. We got to meet Bill Adams from San Diego UrbDeZine, who has a great write-up on common urban renewal mistakes.

4 Responses to liberty station food market


William A. Adams

September 19th, 2014 at 6:23 am

Great update Paul – I agree with all your points. And thanks for the mention!


paul jamason

September 19th, 2014 at 10:30 am

You’re welcome Bill, fun meeting you guys at the event.



September 22nd, 2014 at 9:37 am

What’s up with the bait and switch my the HBA on the Transform Hillcrest plan. Nothing like taking a sure, good thing and messing it up. I guess Ben Nichols just couldn’t keep his hands (or ego) out of it.


Paul Jamason

September 22nd, 2014 at 10:38 am

Hi Walt, I don’t really know Ben that well, but isn’t he just doing what the folks at HBA tell him? I named Chris Shaw specifically because he’s been vocal on VOSD and with SANDAG about street parking impacts near Urban Mo’s. Cecilia Moreno seemed to support Transform Hillcrest, as did Jonathan Hale (sans buses, of course). Don’t those three basically run HBA (in Shaw’s case, via Eddie Ray)?

Didn’t HBA support TH at the Uptown Planners meeting? So it’s very odd, and I can’t find any HBA meeting minutes posted to see if they mention the Hillcrest Jog. Hopefully it just gets ignored. But for an organization that’s been criticized as insular, this is a perfect example that things won’t change until its board does.

Comment Form

bottega americano

8 Sep

- Thanks to Our City San Diego for including sd urban in the list of “San Diego’s 10 best blogs“, and congratulations to all of the other bloggers. Our City is holding a discussion series event to recognize the winners this Tuesday (9/9) at 6 PM, at the World Resource Simulation Center downtown (1088 3rd Ave).

– Some quickies: Orchids and Onions annual voting closes next Friday, and the San Diego Architectural Foundation celebrates Orchid winner Station Tavern’s 5 year-anniversary with a voting party next Thursday from 5-8 PM.  This year’s awards ceremony is October 2nd… SANDAG and City officials will be on hand at the Hillcrest Business Association’s bike lane meeting next Wednesday, 6 PM at Bombay restaurant.  They’ll be discussing the Transforming Hillcrest alternative put forward by architect Jim Frost and supported by several community groups…  MTS will debut the new Mid-City Rapid Bus Line 215 and Rapid Route 237 (Escondido to UCSD by way of Mira Mesa) on October 12th… And MTS is testing stored value on the Compass Card next month and hoping to have it available to all users early next year.

– On our last visit to New York City, our hotel was near Eataly, the multiple-restaurant/cafe/rooftop bar/Italian grocery across the street from Madison Square Park. And each morning it was the perfect spot to start our day, whether it was at the espresso bar or lunch at one of the restaurants – as long as you didn’t mind the hordes of people there. Given how successful the concept was, I wondered why San Diego didn’t have anything like it.

With Bottega Americano‘s recent opening in the Thomas Jefferson building downtown, now we do – sort of. While there are some elements of Eataly present, like the Marketplace counter where you can order coffee, dessert and various deli items to go, it’s still primarily an Italian restaurant. But it’s an Italian restaurant with design unlike any other in San Diego, as you can see in these pictures:







As we ate, the trolley glided by on Park. We couldn’t think of another (upscale) restaurant downtown on the trolley line, but hopefully this is the start of a trend that will extend to challenged C St.


The patio also fronts the trolley – Bottega is definitely a pioneer restaurant in this part of downtown, close to the new library.


Our paninis did take a while to appear, but were quite good. My veggie panini proved you can make a good one without cheese, as the ceci bean hummus, tapenade and marinated artichokes more than made up for it. And my strong cold-brewed iced coffee was a good sign that they’re serious about their coffee too. We’re looking forward to returning for dinner and trying more of the menu, including some pizzas from the wood-fired oven.

Further east, Pinnacle International’s 15th & Island 45-story condo project continues to tower over anything around it in the East Village. In the foreground of the photo below is a long-empty building at 14th and Island that will apparently house an artisan food restaurant named Stella, and Halcyon coffee/bar/lounge. There’s a sizable patio being built around back too, which will front the Pinnacle project’s park.


UPDATE: Here’s a rendering (more info, including naming meeting) of the park:


Just up 14th, at the southwest corner of Market, construction continues at the 6-story Alpha Square affordable housing project. And across Market, the street has fully re-opened in front of the 13th and Market luxury apartment mixed-user, signaling things there are just about complete.

We headed west on this stifling Sunday, coming across the still under-construction Half Door Brewing on Island:





We were disappointed to see that Le Parfait Paris wasn’t open yet on G Street; they’re a commercial bakery based out of the Mission Gorge area, according to Eater.

Eventually we made it to the bayfront, where the Embarcadero makeover is slowly revealing itself.  I like the low-water landscaping, benches, walkways over the rock gardens, lighting and pavers:



After all that walking in the heat it was time to cool off with a Hemingway daiquiri with Mezcal at the new Fairweather rooftop patio from the Consortium Holdings folks, while enjoying a shaded view into the idle ballpark.


Later, as we exited the Park at the Park, we noticed Copa Vida is coming to the west side of the DiamondView building; their Pasadena location has made Eater LA’s best cafe list 2 years in a row.



Comment Form

ciclosdias hillcrest

31 Aug

- The city’s proposed Uptown Community urban design guidelines are out, and I’ve been asked to share them here since comments are due by 10/10. Great Streets SD points out that many new residential projects are turned away from the street instead of facing it, reducing street-level interaction. If you care about Uptown architecture being people-friendly (not just car-friendly), give your feedback!

– The next Ciclosdias is 11/9 and will be in Hillcrest (woo-hoo!):

CicloSDias November 9th

Elsewhere in Hillcrest, San Diego Streets has an update on the Robota Jinya restaurant going in to the historical building just east of Bank of America on University. Photos from their LA location look pretty impressive, and it’s been named one of the best Ramen spots in LA by Eater LA. This is a big arrival for Hillcrest, it seems… Jonathan Segal’s project at Park and University was unveiled on twitter, and I’m curious to see how those 7 stories on the right will be less than the current 65 foot height limit there (UPDATE: The Hillcrest Interim Height Ordinance does not apply to buildings on Park that do not front University – thanks Walt!):

Just up Park, several properties have been purchased and are set for HUD/senior/low-income housing:

GLD Housing Inc. has acquired five commercial parcels on Park Boulevard in the Uptown area of San Diego for a total of $6.2 million. The company intends to redevelop the site for HUD housing and to build a fourth Tower on Park for senior and low-income housing. The properties sit on the highest point in Hillcrest, in close proximity to Mission Valley, Banker’s Hill and North Park. The five parcels are 3952, 3958, 3960, 3968 and 3974 Park Blvd. and total 24,900 square feet. Cushman & Wakefield was the broker.

Here’s another tower that will run up against the restrictive height limits of Hillcrest. More importantly, I’ve been told the Uptown Planners Committee has been much more hostile to affordable housing than planners in North Park. Will liberal community activists support a project that supports our progressive ideals, or do they continue to think affordable housing doesn’t belong in their neighborhood? While we’re on that touchy subject, why is the head of the Hillcrest Business Association taking video of buses in an effort to rid them entirely from University Avenue? While I’m a supporter of Jim Frost’s Transform Hillcrest, using it as a method to remove bus riders from University isn’t the inclusive Hillcrest we believe in:

Meanwhile at the other end of the rental scale, 36 luxury apartments are proposed at 8th and Washington (where the two-story strip mall is?):


The article also mentions the Atlas Lofts project in South Park, composed of 3 live/work lofts and a single office and retail space each:

Atlas Lofts

A quick side note on upper-end rentals: the laws of supply and demand are evident in Washington, D.C., where new residential construction has created a renters market for millennials. Imagine that in Uptown!

– I’ve been riding my bike to work for one of the two days I’m in Kearny Mesa, and I often go up Bachman instead of Texas because the latter is so unpleasant (fumes, incline, etc). Tyler provides an update on the crumbling pavement at the bottom of this hill that’s hazardous to bicyclists:

The really bad ‘lower portion’ is an easement owned by the directly easterly Bartell Hotels (Days Hotel San Diego Hotel Circle) http://www.dayshotelhc.com/ … Technically they own it but UCSD Real Estate helps the hotel group get the paving happening.

The word I just got is that they have had multiple meetings about getting the paving fixed, a quote and contractor have been selected, now it is just up to the heads of the department to approve / work out who is going to pay for it between the two groups.

“Its up in the queue to happen in the next 90 days” … we will see!

p.s. google street view just got updated this week with an April 2014 street layer to see the current condition!


– In North Park, the You Got Mail folks (where Dark Horse Coffee will be opening a location) have purchased the lot that contains the Crazee Burger building and the auto dealer for their next mixed-use project… We had dinner at Queenstown Pubic House in Little Italy the other night and the manager there confirmed they’re opening in the current Eddie’s spot on 30th that closed this week. He said the space will be designed by Michael Soriano (who did the Little Italy spot), and they’re planning a name/concept unique to North Park.

– The new Plumeria spot at Adams and Idaho will be named Chi Kitchen, while Plumeria will expand into the ill-fated American Voodoo space next door. Just down Park, Bike SD had a recent board meeting at 3rd Space, a cool common workspace and gallery spot

– Downtown Bottega Americano has opened and was packed when we drove by Friday night. San Diego Magazine explains it’s a scaled-down version of New York City’s Eataly food-hall concept:

A multi-faceted food environment where someone can come for their morning espresso, then lunch, pop in for afternoon grocery shopping, return for dinner and a nightcap at the bar.

Nearby, the new rooftop Fairweather bar looks pretty amazing… And so do the tree-wrap street lights all over downtown.

– Transit-oriented development has found a new funding source in state cap-and-trade credits. One of the beneficiaries is the new Comm 22 residential project near the Commercial Station on the Orange Line in Barrio Logan, an area that holds a lot of potential given its proximity to downtown:

Comm 22

Here’s the unit breakdown:

130 Affordable Family Rental Units (1, 2, & 3—bedrooms)

70 Affordable Senior Rental Units

35 Market Rate Lofts

17 For-Sale Townhomes

And here’s more information on how state cap and trade funds will be doled out to transit-oriented affordable housing and other climate-friendly infrastructure, with a big chunk going to high-speed rail. I’m proud to live in a state that’s proactive on addressing climate change and pollution, and dispenses with the “you’re taking away our motoring freedom” crap from the libertarian set. For another approach, here’s how Seattle is building equitable TOD… Elsewhere downtown, City College’s new art gallery has opened.

– I missed this excellent summary of upcoming Mission Valley development, another prime location for transit-oriented residential.

– Finally, in Little Italy, we’re excited for the new things coming to the Ariel Suites building on Kettner, including Javier Plascencia’s (Romesco’s, Mision 19) Bracero, which will serve modern Mexican cuisine:

According to Steve Donlon of Ariel Suites, where Bracero will keep company with Pan Bon, an Italian market-meets-eatery, and a natural grocery store, major contraction should start in October. Each floor of the bi-level restaurant will have a bar, kitchen and heated patio; first floor dining will be casual, with no reservations, while the second level will take reservations and offer a more high-end experience. The upper bar plans to be dedicated to craft liquor from Mexico, including mezcal and tequila.

2 Responses to ciclosdias hillcrest



September 1st, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Neither the Segal site at Park and Robinson or the 3952-74 Park Blvd Site falls within the Interim Height Ordinance boundaries. They are not subject to the 65 foot height limit. In fact, although it is hard to determine, I believe the Park Blvd site could go as high as150 feet or more, assuming they get entitlements prior to the Community Plan Update.


Paul Jamason

September 1st, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Thanks for the info Walt, I fixed the Park Blvd items.

Comment Form

Lots of restaurant changes going on around town – Heights Tavern in Normal Heights has been bought out and will be closing this week, according to Hutton Marshall at Uptown News… Plumeria’s new spot is coming along on Adams… A friend says Eddie’s on 30th in North Park is closing and will make way for a Queenstown Public House operation.  I never did get Eddie’s concept – the menu was so wide-ranging that there had to be some serious Sysco going on… Across the street, Veg-N-Out is also closing… Marie’s on University is being replaced by a new Lucha LibreDark Horse Coffee is opening a location in the You Are Here project in Golden Hill… Acme Kitchen downtown has also closed; we enjoyed our dinner there a while back but there’s no way I could eat there regularly without elastic waistbands… Comun is open downtown with an upscale Mexican concept; chef Chad White has worked at Roseville, Gabardine and Counterpoint.

Meanwhile, LGBT Weekly asks why there’s been so much restaurant turnover in Hillcrest – but considering the above, restaurant changes aren’t unique to this neighborhood.  We get New York magazine (gotta use those airline points) and there’s plenty of turnover all over that city too.  Maybe it’s not about the parking as the article implies, but rather strong competition for a finite dining-out dollar.

– Upcoming: come to Modern Times Wednesday at 6 and support the minimum wage increase, since our current mayor and former mayor heading the SD Chamber of Commerce will be doing their best to keep thousands of San Diegans working in poverty… Monty Python and The Holy Grail finishes up the Normal Heights summer movie season at Ward Canyon Park (Adams and I-15) this Saturday at 8… There are a couple of clean-up events coming up: Operation Clean Sweep this Saturday morning cleans up the bay, while Coastal Cleanup Day is Saturday 9/21.

– A new residential project is planned for the vacant lot just east of Albertsons on University:

View Larger Map

As SD Streets notes, this is the same architect who designed the Columbia Lofts going up in Little Italy (Columbia St, between Fir and Grape), and there’s an interesting-looking possible rendering of the University project. With North Park Nursery moving in a few doors east, this humdrum stretch of University is looking up.

– I attended Jim Frost’s Transforming Hillcrest presentation last week at the Hillcrest Town Council and was impressed by the thought put into the plan, which would provide protected bike lanes while retaining all current parking on University:


Something’s gotta give, and in this case it’s two travel lanes, which could create traffic flow issues for the frequent bus service on that street.  I had assumed SANDAG performed a traffic study indicating no travel lanes could be lost, but apparently that’s not the case.  We’ll see if they consider this plan, which has broad community support.


– We were headed to the beach Saturday (this has been the best beach summer I can remember since moving here in late 1997, btw) and got caught in the backup from the 7-car sandwich just east of I-5 on I-8.  Here’s a map showing this is the worst stretch of I-8 in the city:


I looked at other freeways individually since you can only plot 1000 collisions at a time, and this appears to be the worst freeway stretch within city limits, largely due to the morning backup onto the I-5N off-ramp.  While Caltrans is widening this off-ramp, why not reduce speeds and/or add caution signage in the area?  It’s been a problem since at least 2000 when I began driving this route (although now I usually exit at Taylor and take the bus to work on my UCSD days – or ride my bike to the Hillcrest/UCSD shuttle).
- Looks like the I-5 widening is going to happen; meanwhile, San Diego ranks poorly on transit.

Comment Form



Flickr SD Group

Flickr Badge Widget


Events on December 19, 2014
57 Degrees 3rd Friday Food Truck Extravaganza
Starts: 5:00 pm
Ends: December 19, 2014 - 10:00 pm
Mission Valley Mall Food Truck Gathering
Starts: 5:00 pm
Ends: December 19, 2014 - 9:00 pm
BLVD Market
Starts: 6:00 pm
Ends: December 19, 2014 - 10:00 pm
Description: Monthly marketplace featuring upcoming chefs: http://www.theboulevard.org/
Events on December 20, 2014
Open air fish market
Starts: 8:00 am
Ends: December 20, 2014 - 1:00 pm
Events on December 23, 2014
Tasty Truck Tuesdays
Starts: 6:00 pm
Ends: December 23, 2014 - 9:00 pm
Events on December 25, 2014
Uptown Parking District Hillcrest Meeting
Starts: 5:00 pm
Ends: December 25, 2014 - 6:00 pm