Monthly Archives: May 2014

Gaining Momentum in North Little Italy

While Little Italy continues to be one of the most exciting neighborhoods to watch, much of its redevelopment has occurred in the area south of Grape Street. That’s beginning to change, with the addition of the new Ballast Point tasting room last year, along with Richard Blais’ acclaimed Juniper & Ivy earlier this year. North Little Italy—or NoLi, as some are calling it—could be on its way to becoming the new south.

Legacy Apartments

On Juniper Street between Kettner and India, Legacy Apartments is on track for completion this summer. The mixed-use project includes 31 residential units, as well as some commercial space.

Legacy Apartments

Balconies overlook Juniper Street on the north side of the complex. We have no doubts that those windows must be thick to soften noise from the flight path, which runs almost directly over the building.

Legacy Apartments

Check out these high ceilings in the retail spaces.

Legacy Apartments

In recognizing the changing scene on the north end of the neighborhood, the Little Italy Association relaunched the popular Kettner Nights arts event as NoLi Nights earlier this month. The quarterly event will continue to welcome area residents to explore its lively galleries and shops with extended hours.

Work Continues at Indigo Grill

Renovation continues at Indigo Grill in Little Italy, as its reopening date has been pushed to mid-June.

Indigo Grill

The neon remains lit while the entrance is all boarded up.

Indigo Grill

They’ve blown out all the old windows and are replacing them with much larger ones.

Indigo Grill

The more light, the better. These will be a big improvement.

Indigo Grill

Don’t mind the construction junk. Looks like they’re framing out the patio area with new steel as well.

Indigo Grill

Still not much to see on the inside. Indigo Grill will remain closed through June 17.

More Condos in Store for Bankers Hill

A seven-story residential building is in the works at the corner of 5th and Nutmeg in Bankers Hill. Local developer ColRich plans to begin construction of Vue on 5th in early 2015.

Vue on 5th

The units will range in size from 1,300 to 3,200 square feet and have an estimated price tag of $600,000 to $1 million.

Vue on 5th

It looks like the building might include commercial space at street level, but don’t quote us on that.

Vue on 5th

Just steps away from Balboa Park, it’s hard to think of a better location to live. As a bonus, it’s right next to one of our favorite lunch spots, Marketplace Deli.

Bankers Hill

Across the street, another 30-unit residential building is planned for the space previously occupied by Mandarin House. That restaurant closed its doors late last year after operating for more than 35 years. Further up the street at 5th and Thorn, a third residential building is currently rising behind 7-Eleven. Needless to say, we’re excited to see activity heating up in Bankers Hill.

Uptown District Gets a Facelift

Work began this week on a major redevelopment at Uptown District in Hillcrest—you know, that shopping madhouse where Ralphs and Trader Joe’s are located. Big changes are already underway as the center becomes The HUB | Hillcrest Market.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

Walls are up around what will become a courtyard between two food and beverage tenants. Regency Centers, who purchased the development at the end of 2012, is currently seeking unique restaurant concepts to lure guests into the new courtyard area.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

They’ve already started tearing up the concrete. La Salsa and Pick Up Stix previously occupied the spaces on each side of the courtyard.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

The $3 million renovation will include custom murals by local artists, new wayfinding signs, new landscaping, and art sculptures by Chris Puzio and MakeFab.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

Uptown District opened in 1989, replacing a Sears department store. The mixed-use development was a pretty new idea for the time. Next time you’re in line at Trader Joe’s, look around for historic photos of the site as it was before redevelopment.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

We’re okay with a little mess if it means neighborhood improvement.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

HUB stands for Hillcrest Uptown Block. We can’t decide if that’s clever or just marketing baloney.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

Spoiler alert: that Facebook page doesn’t yet exist.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

Here’s what that new courtyard will look like. It’s not a huge area, but it could turn out really nice.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

RadioShack wants you to know they still exist, but you’ll have to walk around if you want to go in.

Napizza, a popular Little Italy joint, is moving into the 2,010-square-foot space to the right.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

If there’s one thing we love, it’s a public notice of alcoholic beverage sales. No protest here.

The Hub | Hillcrest Market

It will be great to see these empty spaces transformed into lively restaurants. We think Hillcrest has lost some of its luster in the last year or two, but this boost in development could make a big difference.

You Got Mail at the Former Post Office

When the North Park post office closed in 2011 due to service cutbacks, many worried that that the mid-century building would be torn down. Luckily, San Diego architects Foundation for Form came up with an urban mixed-use concept that incorporates the neighborhood landmark.

You Got Mail

The project, called You Got Mail, will contain 33 apartment units and 5,000 square feet of commercial space at the corner of Grim and North Park Way. Most of those apartments will be studios and single-bedroom units.

You Got Mail

We’re still trying to figure out what’s going on with all the extreme angles and protrusions.

You Got Mail

Foundation for Form has taken on similar development projects already. In Golden Hill, they turned an old Texaco gas station into another mixed-use project, smartly incorporating elements of the existing structure into the design.

You Got Mail

We’ll be interested to see what kind of tenants are announced for the commercial space.

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