By Joan Wojcik
Over the last decade or more, San Diego has experienced a housing and development boom throughout most areas of the city. The ballpark area Downtown, referred to as southwest East Village, is almost completely developed around the Petco Park stadium with high-rise condominiums, restaurants, Thomas Jefferson Law School and the famous icon, the Central Library.
Previously, the Marina District, Little Italy and Cortez Hill experienced their own gentrification. While all this redevelopment was happening, the community referred to as northeast East Village has waited years for their urban renewal to begin. Market Street and C Street at San Diego Community College and 18th Street and Park Boulevard define northeast East Village. This area is noted for its old warehouses, vacant lots and dilapidated buildings.
All that has started to change this year with the redevelopment momentum exploding in the area. The list of projects currently planned for this district is impressive and includes the Broadstone apartments, 10 Barrel Brewing, Punch Bowl Social, Idea1, Block D office building, and the expected ground breaking of the “Streetlights” mixed-used project.
Next year, this urban renewal will continue with the ground breaking of the first Promenade Block (the east block contiguous to Albertsons supermarket), phase 1 of the East Village Green, and the addition of a five-story facility for the UC San Diego.
The Broadstone project, located on Broadway and 16th Street, and Idea1 project, located on 13th and E streets, are nearing completion. The Block D and Streetlight projects, both located on 15th and F streets, will be completed in late 2018 or early 2019.
Idea1 has started leasing office and restaurant spaces with apartment units to be leased in July. Broadstone will be leasing 269 apartments and over 5,000 square feet of commercial space in the near future. Broadstone, Idea1, Block D and Streetlight hope to attract young, high-tech workers and companies to join the awakening of northeast East Village.
With the addition of the much-anticipated young population of millennials, entertainment venues are also joining the urban regeneration revitalization in the neighborhood. 10 Barrel Brewing had its grand opening in June and has already become a popular gathering center. Across the street from 10 Barrel Brewing, the Punch Bowl Social is scheduled to open in early 2018., An interactive social complex housed in the historic Coliseum, Punch Bowl Social will be offering modern dining, a bar, entertainment, games and bowling alleys.
These two newcomers will become the entertainment hub for the several blocks of development known as Makers Quarter, which will have a dramatic impact on the urban regeneration revitalization of northeast East Village.
Apartments, offices, restaurants, entertainment venues and the incorporation of green areas will continue the gentrification of northeast East Village. The green areas will include 11 blocks of lush expanded walkways called the Promenade Blocks and phase 1 of the East Village Green Park. The Promenade, referred to as pedestrian zones, will embrace the entire east side of 14th Street from City College to the Bay. Driving lanes or vertical parking on the east side of 14th Street will be replaced by lush green walkways, and next year the construction of the first Promenade pedestrian walkway will become a reality in northeast East Village, using the sidewalk adjacent to the Albertsons.
Adding to the urban regeneration and revitalization excitement in northeast East Village are the announced plans of a University of California San Diego facility in the neighborhood.
These are truly exciting times for northeast East Village. In five to 10 years, the old, dilapidated warehouses and buildings and vacant lots will be a vague memory, replaced by a vibrant community made up of a population of millennials, young professionals, families and entrepreneurs. The environment will include learning academia centers and innovative startup companies surrounded by beautiful Promenade walkways, the largest park in Downtown — East Village Green — winding bike lanes, entertainment centers, condominiums, apartments, live and work studios, and office buildings filled with high tech workers.
What a vibrant future outlook for northeast East Village and it has already begun.