Downtown Real Estate
The financial, commercial and cultural heart of the city, downtown San Diego is the place every other neighborhood in the city wants to be close to. Property listings all over San Diego highlight their proximity to the downtown core as one of their selling points. Much of modern downtown San Diego is the result of extensive redevelopment efforts in the 70s, 80s and 90s. The two most prominent landmarks in downtown San Diego include PETCO Park, home field for the San Diego Padres, and the San Diego Convention Center, a massive 2.6 million square foot facility that hosts everything from Comic-Con to International Biotech conferences and even the 1996 Republican National Convention.
Downtown San Diego is divided into seven distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique character:
Columbia – this is the western district of downtown San Diego, also known as the waterfront. Columbia real estate features a combination of high-rise residential buildings and mixed-use commercial developments. Locals have dubbed a section of Columbia’s Pacific Highway that feature several luxury high rise buildings “millionaire’s row”. Average listing for a property in Columbia as of August 2014 was upwards of a million dollars, while the median sales price was $600,000.
Little Italy – North of Columbia and west of Cortez Hill lies Little Italy. Little Italy was once the “tuna capital of the Western United States” where tuna canneries dominated the neighborhood. After the last tuna canneries close in the 1980’s, Little Italy has undergone a remarkable transformation and is today one of the safest and most desirable places to live in San Diego. India Street runs through the heart of the neighborhood and is Little Italy’s main commercial artery. Little Italy real estate features a mix of residential developments ranging from condos and row homes to detached single family homes, lofts and townhouses. As of August 2014 the average listing price for a property in Little Italy was slightly above $450,000 while the median sales price stood at $361,500.
East Village – Nestled in between the Gaslamp Quarter, the Core District and Cortez Hill, East Village is the youngest neighborhood in downtown San Diego. Once a collection of vacant lots and warehouses, the East Village has undergone a remarkable urban renewal to become one of the most vibrant and rapidly growing neighborhoods in the city. The completion of PETCO Park in 2004 accelerated development of the East Village into the thriving downtown district it is today. East Village real estate comprises mainly of row homes, town-house developments, live work spaces and mid-rise and high-rise condominiums. Median sales price as of August 2014 hovered around the $450,000 mark while the average listing price for the same time period was around $655,000.
Marina District – the aptly named Marina District is bordered by the Gaslamp Quarter in the east, Columbia to the north and the gentle waters of the San Diego Marina everywhere else. Once a rough and tumble industrial area filled with warehouses, the Marina District today commands some of the highest cost per square foot of any neighborhood in San Diego. The district is in a perfect location, close to all the dining and entertainment venues of the Gaslamp and Seaport Village as well as being the home of one of city's most iconic structures, the San Diego Convention Center. The Marina District is considered one of San Diego’s most exclusive residential areas and features a mix of condos, mid-rise and high-rise luxury buildings. The average listing price for a unit in the Marina District as of August 2014 was upwards of $1.13 million and the median sales price was $575,000.
Cortez Hill – a hilly residential neighborhood in downtown San Diego, Cortez Hill lies sandwiched between East Village and Little Italy. A quaint downtown residential area amid steep hills, Cortez Hill usually elicits comparisons to San Francisco. Named after the historical El Cortez Hotel which still stands today, Cortez Hill is one of the oldest continuously inhabited residential areas of downtown San Diego. A peaceful community, Cortez Hill is a quiet pocket in bustling downtown San Diego. Cortez Hill features mixed residential developments made up low rise, mid rise and high rise condos as well as lofts, detached family homes and townhomes. There are even some historic Victorian style homes tucked in between the newer buildings. Average listing price in Cortez Hill as of August 2014 was a little above $540,000 and the median sales price for the same period was around $370,000
Gaslamp Quarter – the most happening of all the seven neighborhoods that make up downtown San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter is home to an impressive array of bars restaurants and live music venues. Yet another historical neighborhood that went through a period of urban decay followed by redevelopment and renewal in the 80s and 90s, San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is today considered to be the entertainment heart of San Diego. The name “Gaslamp Quarter” is a holdover from the 1860s, where gas-lamps were the most common form of street illumination. Gaslamp Quarter is home to 94 historical buildings that are still in use today. Residential developments in the Quarter are limited to a handful of mid rise buildings with studios, lofts and 1 and 2 bedroom floor plans. Average listing price as of August 2014 was a little above $520,000 while the median sales price stood at $360,000
Core District – lying at the center of downtown San Diego, the Core District is the buttoned down business center of the city. Core District real estate is limited to mainly commercial retail and office buildings. San Diego’s Civic Center. City Hall and Central Government Offices are all located here. City planners have high hopes for Core District – the area is the site of such ambitious developments as the Civic Center Complex Project, Horton Plaza Park and the World Trade Center Project. The Core District is the only downtown San Diego district without any height restrictions, so expect its skyline to dominate the rest of the city in the years to come. The average listing price for a property in the Core District hovered at $1.06 million as of August 2014 and the median sales price for the same period stood at $600,000.