Category Archives: Hillcrest

Updates on Three New Uptown Buildings

Good news—we’re back from our unplanned hiatus. We have a lot to cover, so let’s get to it.

If you’ve passed through Bankers Hill in the last couple of weeks, you’ve probably noticed the new tower crane hovering over the site of Vue on 5th. Developer ColRich is moving quickly on the seven-story residential building, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

Vue on 5th

From Sixth Avenue along Balboa Park, you can’t miss the massive crane.

Vue on 5th

As we told you in our first update in May, the luxury condos will range in size from 1,300 to 3,200 square feet and have an estimated price tag of $600,000 to $1 million. If you can afford it, you’ll be just steps away from Balboa Park and a few of our favorite restaurants.

In addition to the 43 residential units, plans include three commercial spaces at ground level.

Vue on 5th

ColRich is the same developer behind Waterpoint, the nearly-finished condo complex next to Point Loma Seafoods, as well as 10 West at Bird Rock in La Jolla.

Broadstone Balboa Park

Just a few blocks north at 5th and Thorn, exterior work on Broadstone Balboa Park appears to be wrapping up.

Broadstone Balboa Park

On the Fifth Avenue side facing Balboa Park, you can start to see the finishing touches on the upper floors.

Broadstone Balboa Park

The northwest corner at Fourth and Thorn is even further along. We failed to get a picture, but they’re saving some historic bungalows on the site.

Broadstone Balboa Park

We haven’t yet seen any floorplans or rates, but maybe they’ll show up soon on the Broadstone website.

Jonathan Segal - Park and Robinson

At Park and Robinson in Hillcrest, there’s been a lot of buzz about the upcoming mixed-use project by Jonathan Segal.

Jonathan Segal - Park and Robinson

Since our update in July, we’ve learned that the 7-story building will include 29 apartments, seven office suites, and two commercial spaces at ground level.

In case you missed it, a photo of the building model appeared on Segal’s Facebook page a while back.

Jonathan Segal - Park and Robinson

The site of the old Egyptian Garage was cleared out over the summer to make way for the project, dubbed Mr. Robinson. We don’t know if that’s the official name, but that’s what they’re calling it for now. This project will likely have a big impact on this side of Hillcrest, not unlike the addition of Jonathan Segal’s North Parker at 30th and Upas.

Robata JINYA Continues Restoration of Historic Hospital Building in Hillcrest

When Kelly’s Treasures closed earlier this year in Hillcrest, we couldn’t help but be a little bummed. The former antique store was always a neat place to browse and you never knew what you’d find. We knew we’d miss it, but wondered what would become of the historic space. At 801 University Avenue, the building has a long history dating back more than a century.

Robata Jinya San Diego

You see, in 1891, the Sisters of Mercy opened St. Joseph’s Hospital on the north side of University Avenue between Seventh and Eighth. The San Diego Historical Society has a great photo of the four-story hospital, which stood where FedEx and Chipotle are now. The surgery annex we’re talking about today was a separate building located on the east side of the block.

Some years later, they actually picked up the building and moved it across the street to its current location on the southeast corner of Eighth and University. St. Joseph’s Hospital would eventually become the modern day Scripps Mercy Hospital on Washington. (Feel free to correct us if we mixed any of that up—the Googled history is a little fuzzy for us.)

Robata Jinya San Diego

Last month, San Diego Reader reported that the historic landmark would be saved after appearing on the Save Our Heritage Organization’s Most Endangered List.

All these years later, the building is currently undergoing a major restoration and will open early next year as a Japanese izakaya-style restaurant called Robata JINYA. Scaffolding recently came down to reveal the new grey and maroon color scheme.

Robata Jinya San Diego

It may look like the inside has barely been touched, but crews have been restoring the building all summer. They’ve nearly finished framing out the new space and have been busy replacing support beams that have held the building together for a century.

Robata Jinya San Diego

The original Robata JINYA opened in 2006 in Japan, and in 2008, they opened their Los Angeles location. That West Hollywood location gets pretty solid reviews, so we expect the Hillcrest version to do well. Check out the online menu for a peek at what’s to come.

Robata Jinya San Diego

The adjacent building, also part of the property and formerly an extension of the main Kelly’s Treasures space, seems to remain untouched at this point.

In May, San Diego Eater reported that the Japanese restaurant group would be bringing its JINYA Ramen Bar concept to the property, suggesting that it would be going into this small space at 815 University Avenue. Months later, we know they’re definitely bringing Robata JINYA to the main building next door, but we’re unclear on plans for the smaller building. We’ve also heard that it may be demolished altogether.

Robata Jinya San Diego

It’s great to see this part of University Avenue getting a hip, new restaurant. Now, if we could only get AT&T to clean up its monstrosity in the middle of the neighborhood.

Robata Jinya San Diego

Watch as the historic building continues to be adapted for its new use. By next spring, it should be fully preserved and back in action.

Factory Lofts Rising Above Sixth Avenue

All summer, we’ve been watching a set of row homes rise above a previously vacant lot along Sixth Avenue in Hillcrest. Located just south of Pennsylvania Avenue, Factory Lofts will feature five row homes for sale. The infill project comes from PQ Design Studio, Inc., who has designed several similar projects in the San Diego area.

Factory Lofts

The building will be entirely residential—so, no new retail here—but is notable as one of a few new condo developments in this part of Hillcrest and Bankers Hill.

Factory Lofts

We’re big fans of those green strips of living walls stretching the entire height of the building. Each unit will feature a two-car garage on the ground floor and a large patio opening from the main living room level. Thanks to PQ Design Studio, Inc. for the rendering.

Factory Lofts

This space has been empty for as long as we’ve known it, so we’re happy to see something new.

Factory Lofts

The top-floor master suites will feature high ceilings, huge windows, and private terraces.

Factory Lofts

This is the same developer behind the Idaho Heights Row Homes near the water tower in North Park, as well as a similar 8-unit row home project on Goldfinch Street in Mission Hills.

Factory Lofts

The developer didn’t have a timeline to share with us, but said the homes are going up fast. Along with 5th and Thorn, Vue on 5th, and an upcoming condo building on the site of the former Mandarin House restaurant, residential development is really picking up in this part of Uptown.

Renovation Continues at Former Uptown District

Some very prominent changes are starting to take place at the former Uptown District in Hillcrest, as it becomes The HUB | Hillcrest Market. The 25-year-old shopping center is in the middle of a $3 million renovation that includes new wayfinding signs, new landscaping, and art from local artists.

The HUB | Hillcrest Market

San Diego artist Skye Walker painted this beautiful mural at the corner of Vermont and University over the past couple of days. You can’t miss it.

The HUB | Hillcrest Market

We really dig the colors. It’s always great to see local artists getting such significant spaces in the community.

The HUB | Hillcrest Market

Major work is happening around the future home of Napizza, the second location for the Little Italy pizzeria.

The HUB | Hillcrest Market

While it didn’t look like work had started on the inside of the upcoming pizza joint, construction continues on the outdoor patio.

The HUB | Hillcrest Market

The focal point of the revamped retail center will be the main courtyard being built here.

The HUB | Hillcrest Market

Notice the updated balcony railings. Big improvement compared to our last update.

The HUB | Hillcrest Market

Last we heard, they’re still looking for a new tenant to take over the old Pick Up Stix location.

The HUB | Hillcrest Market

The planned restaurant space will feature a large outdoor seating area along the courtyard.

The HUB | Hillcrest Market

The plans include more seating and lots of landscaping in the middle of the courtyard. Other spaces have been carved out of the concrete for new planters as well. Work is expected to be completed in the fall.

In Hillcrest, It’s Out with the Old

We knew it was coming, but didn’t think it would happen so quickly. The big news in Hillcrest last week was the demolition of the old Egyptian Garage site at Park and Robinson. In recent years, this site became a bit of an eyesore after auto shop Advantec took over.

In case you missed it, check out this video of the demolition. Jonathan Segal, the developer behind the new mystery project, has also been sharing photos of the demolition on his blog.

Hillcrest

Two historic columns from the original 1926 Egyptian Garage were the only pieces left standing at the site after major destruction last Tuesday, but have since been hauled away. We’re hoping that’s a sign that they’ll be incorporated into the new development. If you’re interested, The Journal of San Diego History has a great article on the Egyptian Revival architecture in this neighborhood.

Hillcrest

Hope these neighbors didn’t like their privacy, with their back patios suddenly exposed for all to see. Hey, at least they’re probably getting more sunlight through those windows now, right?

Hillcrest

In other demolition news, San Diego Streets reader Francisco Y. tipped us off to a site recently cleared out at Normal and Harvey Milk, across from the Hillcrest DMV office.

Hillcrest

The rather large space was previously the home of the Union of Operating Engineers.

Hillcrest

This old house on the corner is the last remaining structure on the lot. The construction fence surrounds this property as well, but we’re not sure if it’s staying or going. Maybe someone will take that shopping cart back to Trader Joe’s, at least.

Hillcrest

Close by, we’re also not sure what’s going on at Hillcrest Village Square. (Yeah, we didn’t know that deteriorating strip mall had a name, either.) Fencing went up around the buildings last week.

Hillcrest

Signs along University Avenue say the businesses are still open during construction, which makes us wonder if the place is just being re-skinned. It could certainly use some renovating.

Hillcrest

Gossip Grill, owned by Mo’s Universe, moved from its original location in this shopping center to its current location at Vermont and University in 2013. Mo’s Universe also operates Hillcrest Brewing Company here.

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