Also called Downtown San Diego
Downtown San Diego encompasses eight different neighborhoods or districts: Gaslamp, East Village, Columbia, Marina, Cortez, Little Italy, Horton Plaza, and Core. These neighborhoods are the heart of the business, arts, and entertainment communities of San Diego. Over twenty years of redevelopment have transformed downtown into a great place to live, work, and play. Currently, there are thousands of residential housing units under construction. Due to San Diego International Airport's proximity to downtown, there is a FAA imposed 500-foot height restriction on all buildings downtown.
- Columbia, the west district of downtown. The district is mostly commercial with some existing low and mid-rise residences in existence and new high-rises under construction. Columbia is a waterfront district which houses the Museum of Contemporary Art, Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, the San Diego Maritime Museum, and the Cruise Ship Terminal which hosts about 200 cruise ships per year. There are ferries that connect downtown with Coronado. The district is also home to the Federal Courthouse.
- Core District, the central business district of downtown. It serves as the area’s governmental hub, housing such offices such as City Hall, the Small Business Administration, the Central Jail, and the Community Concourse and Civic Theater. There are very few condos and apartments in this area.
- Cortez Hill, the north-east district of downtown. This neighborhood has the highest land mass in downtown with views of Balboa Park, the bay, and urban San Diego. There are 111 acres and many are under development. Cortez is one of the oldest areas, housing some Victorian homes which date back over 100 years. The historic Cortez Hotel, for which the community was named, was renovated, turned into apartments, and then converted into condominiums with retail tenants in 2004. In 2007, maintenance issue at El Cortez became problematic for the home owners.
- East Village is the largest district in downtown San Diego. It houses Petco Park, home to the San Diego Padres baseball team. East Village has undergone an urban renewal over the last decade and is considered to be quite trendy. Condos and lofts are housing options in this district.
- Gaslamp Quarter, a 16 block historic district in central Downtown which first underwent development almost 150 years ago. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the district was rejuvenated and is now considered a night life hot spot. The quarter hosts many annual events including: including Mardi Gras, Street Scene Music Festival (currently on hiatus), Taste of Gaslamp, and ShamROCK, a St. Patrick's Day event. There are a limited number of residential lofts and condos in this district.
- Little Italy, the north-west district of downtown. It is an ethnic enclave which has become quite trendy. The business district has been refurbished and contains many good restaurants. There is a Farmer's Market in Little Italy each Saturday and the community sponsors about a half dozen cultural events throughout the year. Amici Park serves as a playground for a school and a park for the public. There are many nice condominiums and apartments in this area, as well as a number of single-family homes.
- Marina, the south-west district of downtown. It is home to Seaport Village, a tourist attraction, which offers shopping, restaurants and entertainment, the Children's Museum, and Children’s Park. The San Diego Convention Center is also located here. The Marina use to contain many warehouses and vacant lots. Since redevelopment which began in the ‘80’s, the district now houses a number of hotels, apartments, condominiums, townhouses and lofts, as well as retail space.
- Horton District, a 15 block district in the center of downtown. It is houses Horton Plaza (a successful retail mall), and the Spreckels and Balboa Theaters. Residential opportunities are quite limited within this district.
The Downtown area contains numerous sites that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They include:
What Staff are Saying:
- “Accessibility bistros, cafe houses, bakeries, all sorts of shopping, great area to take power walks in and people watch, entertainment is nearby, it's busy and vibrant, require less use of my car to do stuff, it's cool - a nice place to chill with Balboa Park nearby and Border's.”
- “Annoying bums that occupy long stretches of the sidewalk at night, I have to walk around it... and parking real bad but it's downtown so what can I say.”
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