An unprecedented building boom is under way in East Village and it’s causing some concerns.

For one things, developers in the area are building lots of apartments and retail spaces, and only a few new office projects are planned. Many urbanists say neighborhoods flourish when there’s a healthy mix of live, work and play development.

Another issue related to East Village’s transformation is the arts scene that’s survived in the neighborhood for years and is being pushed out due to the rising cost of real estate.

In this week’s San Diego Explained, Voice of San Diego’s Kinsee Morlan details some of the concerns about East Village’s rapid development.

    This article relates to: Arts/Culture, Land Use, San Diego Explained

    Written by Adriana Heldiz

    4 comments
    bgetzel
    bgetzel subscriber

    CCDC, the former redevelopment agency, focused on the development of downtown San Diego from the 1980's through to about 2010, did a pretty good job. It encouraged the building of a downtown residential community, got rid of the seedier land uses (porn was all over), got parks built, and developed a planning vision for the area. Unfortunately, the preservation of an arts community was never a prority of theirs. At a time (early to mid 1990,s) when East Village property cost about $35 per sq ft., CCDC could have enacted land use regulations and building incentives, that favored the development of live/work spaces for artists. It was a lost opportunity that would have made our city a better place to live.

    Rick Smith
    Rick Smith subscriber

    @bgetzel Sounds like a great idea, but the early to mid 90's was the time of the savings and loan debacle.  It was tough to get anyone to build, even with incentives.

    bgetzel
    bgetzel subscriber

    @Rick Smith @bgetzel CCDC was already starting to get significant money from tax increment financing (now legislated away) in the early 1990s. By that point it already contributed to the building of Horton Plaza  and was doing parks and infrastructure improvements all over downtown. They could have bought a square block in East Village for less then $2 million then, and land bank it for future resale for arts related development. At the very least it could have enacted land use regulations that required, or provided incentives (like density bonuses) for that type of development on certain blocks, whenever the development would take place. 

    Rick Smith
    Rick Smith subscriber

    @bgetzel @Rick Smith Actually, Core -Columbia, Little Italy, East Village and Cortez were not added to CCDC until 1992.  The parks and improvements were just in Horton and the Marina area.