About East Village
Perhaps no other neighborhood in Downtown and surrounding areas has undergone a larger facelift in recent years than East Village. Thanks in large part to the construction of Petco Park in 2004, the home of the San Diego Padres baseball club, East Village has transformed from a rundown warehouse district into one of San Diego’s most highly desirable places to live.
The Downtown San Diego neighborhood is bordered to the north by Cortez Hill, to the south by Barrio Logan, to the west by Downtown’s core — Columbia and Gaslamp districts, and to the east by Interstate 5, Golden Hill and Sherman Heights.
East Village Real Estate
Formerly host to many historical, working, and abandoned warehouses, as well as vacant lots and rundown residential towers, East Village has seen a massive revitalization of commercial and residential real estate, due mostly to the opening of Petco Park and heavy investment in neighborhood redevelopment.
Since 2004, low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise residential towers have sprung throughout East Village, offering condominium homes for every need, from lofts to penthouses and everything in between. Since most of the towers are new construction, residents can expect top-quality homes with sweeping ocean, harbor and cityscape views.
Downtown: Strong Retail Numbers a Good Sign
The retail real estate market in Downtown San Diego had a good year. Brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield reported vacancy rates were in the single digits for the first time since 2008. The current retail vacancy rate is 8.6 percent, down from 10.7 percent in December 2011. Little Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter fared the best at 5 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively. East Village led the pack in the other direction, posting a vacancy rate of 12.5 percent.
In addition, the total positive net absorption was 109,460 sq. ft., nearly twice 2011′s 57,959 tally. Positive net absorple Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter fared the best at 5 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively. East Village led the pack in the other direction, posting a vacancy rate of 12.5 percent.
“While there is still residual economic uncertainty and tenant fallout from the last five years, we are definitely seeing a renewed confidence in the downtown San Diego market,” said Bill Shrader, senior director and founder of the Cushman & Wakefield.
Increased retail rates can only be good news for the downtown residential real estate market. For the most part, Downtown has remained fairly steady throughout the past few years, though the depressed housing market led to many developers converting homes for sale into rental units. Still, as Downtown continues to recover from a retail standpoint, buyer enthusiasm should increase as well.
Downtown: Horton Park Construction Coming Soon
The first step towards the expansion of the historic Horton Plaza park will begin later this week when construction crews begin razing the vacant department store. The old Robinson’s-May store was more recently occupied by music store Sam Goody.
In place of the building will be 1.3 acres of new public space, which will join the existing park. The new Horton Plaza park will extend from Broadway to the rejuvenated Balboa Theater. Construction is expected to be completed by spring 2014.
The park was originally set aside for the public in 1870. It was restored when Horton Plaza mall opened in 1985. The fountain, which was designed by architect Irving J. Gill in 1910, has been out of operation for the past four years. It will be repaired as part of the new construction work.
The park is expected to cost the city around $15 million, and is part of a $35.1 million agreement with mall owners Westfield to sell the department store back to the city as in exchange for dropping a profit-sharing agreement.
The new public space may be a kickstarter for more green space in Downtown San Diego. Such projects improve quality of living for downtown residents and help to increase property values.
Downtown San Diego: Chargers Stadium Gets A Boost
The recent signing of the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement has local ramifications beyond the return of Chargers games this fall. The CBA also replenishes the league’s stadium construction fund, which may allow Chargers ownership to secure $100-150 million in loans. The loans would help significantly in closing the funding gap for the proposed future downtown stadium. Chargers brass estimate the cost of a new stadium to be approximately $800 million, meaning the NFL loan could potentially cover nearly 20 percent of the total amount.
What would a new Chargers stadium in Downtown San Diego mean to real estate in the area? It could mean a whole lot. When Petco Park, the downtown home Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres, opened in 2004, it signaled a major rebirth for the East Village neighborhood in particular, and much of the rest of Downtown. New residential towers dotted the skyline and new businesses sprung up on formerly run-down city blocks, and established businesses flourished due to an influx of gameday visitors and new residents.
The same boost could be provided by a new Chargers stadium, which would be located adjacent to Petco Park. The number of game days would pale in comparison to the 81 games the Padres play in San Diego during the regular season, but the effects would reach far beyond Sundays in the fall. One idea floated by proponents of the new stadium includes plans to link the stadium with a Convention Center expansion to attract even larger events. There has also been talk of creating a new sports and entertainment district, similar to the successful LA Live in Downtown Los Angeles.
In the end, any new construction is good news for property owners in Downtown. With the city and team aiming for a stadium that would be a game-changer, residential and commercial real estate values would benefit greatly, especially for condominiums in East Village and the rest of Lower Downtown.