One of the biggest contributors to the price per square foot of a Downtown San Diego unit is infrastructure. It is always location, location, location. The specific neighborhood infrastructure like local restaurants, local retail, and entertainment are precisely the amenities that make up the energy and characteristics of the neighborhood. Downtown San Diegos East Village (specifically the Ballpark District) is a neighborhood that is undergoing tremendous growth and development.
When you stand on the corner of 9th and J, all buildings that you see are less than two years old. Last year at this time, there were 13 cranes in the sky. The construction of Petco Park has thus far anchored the build out of this neighborhood. However, many now argue that it will be the new San Diego Public Library that provides neighborhood culture and true value to urban homes. There are many local business stand outs that have opened like: Mondo Gelato, Basic, Java Jones, the Kabob Shop, and Albertsons. Many investors who purchased in this growing neighborhood bought into the vision and potential of what the neighborhood would become. The hardest part of this decision is having to be patient until more things actually open. There are prime retail and restaurant opportunities in Diamond Tower, ICON, TR Produce, and the Legend surrounding the Park at the Park. With everything finally built, you think the hard part would be done. Now all need are some national and local business to show some initiative and just move in. Rumors of restaurants like Donavans, PF Chang, and Gordon Biersch are some of the few being talked about on the street. Unfortunately, landlords also know the potential of the neighborhood and assess rents accordingly. The East Village is not even established, but it currently commands some of the highest commercial prices per square foot of any other neighborhood in Downtown.
It looks like delays are going to just be the norm for the East Village. In this months Downtown Newspaper, there is a great article on the new urban Fit Club. Read Article This is a 40,000 square foot upscale fitness club that will add significant character to the East Village. At first, the club was promised to open at the beginning of July. Then, opening was moved to Fall of 07. Now, rumor has it that the club will not even get closing to an opening before January of 08.
Even with delays, East Village residents will continue to be patient and support the local business that are already open. The bottom line is this; The East Village will hold its own against some of the most famous urban neighborhoods like SOMA, SOHO, and New Yorks Meat-Packing District. Eventually, investors will look back and wish they were among the first to get in while the prices and opportunities were favorable.