By Leo Wilson
When you told someone you were from Bankers Hill a decade ago, they would often respond: “Where is Bankers Hill?” The reply would be something like “between Downtown and Hillcrest.”
Now, if you mention Bankers Hill, people will respond how nice it is, and how lucky you are to live there. Bankers Hill has become one of San Diego’s pre-eminent neighborhoods.
During the recent Uptown Community Plan update process, Bankers Hill was repeatedly praised as a successful example of smart urban growth.
In Bankers Hill, a mosaic of old and new buildings co-exist in an attractive manner; a walk along Sixth Avenue, for example, reveals a pleasant mixture of new multi-unit residential complexes, interspersed with preserved historic buildings.
Bankers Hill has been a successful example of property owners, businesses and residents collaboratively working together, and often compromising, in an effective manner. The result is a community that welcomes additional new growth and development, while at the same time works to preserve its traditional character.
An important goal that has also been achieved in Bankers Hill is the creation of a thriving business district. It was not that long ago that to eat out, or even get a cup of coffee, you had to travel outside of Bankers Hill. Now, Bankers Hill has some of the best restaurants in San Diego, and a lot of trendy coffeehouses and other eateries.
The Bankers Hill Business Group deserves much of the credit for the development of the business district. A lot of the new business owners in Bankers Hill are young, as are many of the new residents, and are helping create a dynamic new vision for community.
In Bankers Hill, you can walk to a multitude of excellent restaurants, for fine dining or casual food; as well as an eclectic mix of businesses, including coffeehouses, gyms, print shops, health care facilities and soon, even a new bike shop.
After enjoying a night out in Bankers Hill, it is enjoyable to walk along the streets and look at the iconic buildings, many built over a century before, or to take a stroll through Balboa Park. Not only is Bankers Hill now a great place, it’s getting better each year — if you have not been to Bankers Hill, you should visit and experience it.
—Leo Wilson is administrator for Metro San Diego CDC and is a Bankers Hill resident.