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Changes Coming to Historic Corridor

This week's local real estate news


The BLVD will bring new apartments and shops to El Cajon Boulevard in University Heights. | Image courtesy of (W)right On Communications

Word on the Street

BLVD project kicks off El Cajon Boulevard’s makeover

A prominent section of El Cajon Boulevard is about to get a makeover sometime after the new year.

The old San Diego Stage & Lighting building between Alabama and Florida streets will be torn down and replaced with BLVD, a multistory complex with 165 apartments and 4,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space on the first floor, which will take up the entire block. The new development is replacing a business that has been vacant for almost a decade, and will be one of the first landmarks to greet commuters who head east onto the historic boulevard.

Developer H.G. Fenton, the company that is creating the new Piazza Famiglia in Little Italy, is behind the BLVD project. It hired award-winning architecture firm FoundationForForm to lead the design, and plans to break ground in early 2016. John LaRaia, H.G. Fenton’s senior development director, says residences at BLVD will be upscale and airy, and the complex will have multiple indoor and outdoor gathering spaces along with on-site parking.

The housing project is part of a larger effort to redevelop El Cajon Boulevard. More than 800 new apartments are planned for construction along the boulevard over the next two years, and SANDAG spent $44 million to bring its Rapid bus service to the Mid-City area last year.

“We’re excited to be playing a role in the boulevard’s revitalization as it enters another golden era,” LaRaia says. “Over the past year, we worked with the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association and other neighborhood groups, like the North Park Planning Committee and the University Heights Community Association, and found that this community shares the same vision and passion for the boulevard’s revitalization.”

BLVD will be within walking distance of Live Wire, Pizzeria Luigi and The Lafayette Hotel, as well as small community parks. “We anticipate more young professionals moving here to live in the new residential apartment communities being developed,” LaRaia said. “We also see exciting new retail and restaurant businesses attracting shoppers and diners from outside of the neighborhood.”

BLVD should be ready for new residents in late 2017.


Space available at new Brewery Igniter

Experienced beer brewers who dream of starting their own craft beer line can vie for a space that’s designated to make it happen.

The Brewery Igniter in North Park is looking to lease out three suites that each come equipped with a 10-barrel brewhouse, brite and fermenter tanks, a keg washer, tap room, and 2,000 square feet of space. The website says the space will enable brewers to sell their product about two months after launching—versus an average of nine months in a traditional startup setting—with short and flexible lease terms. The Brewery Igniter facility in Miramar is where Amplified Ale Works and Pure Project Brewing got their start last year, according to the website.

The deadline to apply for a lease is January 4, 2016.


News Bites

*Over in South Bay, Chula Vista residents disagree on whether Vista Del Mar, a proposed five-story housing and retail complex on Third Avenue and K Street, is good for the neighborhood. Developer Hamid Mani and architecture firm Studio E had scaled down the number of units and balconies and added more guest parking to the project in response to community concerns. The project is still awaiting review by the city’s planning commission.

*A longtime community garden in Crown Point is closing on New Year’s Eve because the land was sold. The Pacific Beach Community Garden has been on the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and Shasta Street for 40 years. The nonprofit that runs the garden hopes to find a new location.

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San Diego real estate news and gossip, from businesses opening and closing around town, to the neighborhoods that are buzzing with construction and which homes and buildings are being sold and where. Parklets, placemaking, lofts, design, cool workspaces, cool living spaces, big buildings, and tiny homes are things we find fascinating, especially right now in San Diego. The cranes are back in the downtown skyline, and so are many of our sources in the real estate industry, so you might see a heavy bent towards the urban neighborhoods here. But we see you up there, Torrey Pines Mesa. We know about your new companies, institutes, and hidden foodtrucks in office parks and cool cafes on the bluffs. And Del Mar and Carlsbad and everywhere in between. If you see a “For Sale” sign or a “coming soon” sign that we should know about, or just have a question about a building or a place, send an email our way.

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