Local realtors talk up their stomping grounds
Uptown News asked local real estate agents to explain what they loved about the neighborhood they’ve familiarized themselves, and what new trends they’ve seen popping up in the area.
San Diego locals have long loved the historic Bankers Hill neighborhood west of Balboa Park as much for its huge array of gorgeous architecture as for its proximity to cherished landmarks like the San Diego Zoo, Morley Field and the world famous museums and plaza of Balboa Park. While home buyers flocked to outlying areas of the county for decades, the quaint metro neighborhoods of old San Diego are now enjoying a strong resurgence of interest by those seeking neighborhoods with historical interest, charming amenities like the footbridges at Spruce Street and Quince Street, as well as the convenience of being close to the city’s top eateries, shops and nightlife.
Nestled at the top of the hill overlooking San Diego Bay, Bankers Hill offers all the charm of a historic neighborhood along with diverse housing from condos to mansions. This hidden city enclave has been built among verdant canyons and is known for its alphabetical arrangement of plant-named streets and lanes (a nod to Balboa Park and its “mother” Kate Sessions). It’s a community treasure that has been enjoyed since the early 1900s, and new homebuyers are banking on it for the next hundred years!
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California
Talmadge is all about community, community, community. It’s the smallest metro neighborhood, sandwiched between three canyons and Monroe Avenue. There are only 1200 residences north of Monroe. The houses have been beautifully kept and the electrical wires have been put underground. Driving through the neighborhood at night, all the lantern lighting is beautiful and they twinkle through the matured trees. There is an annual party held for the whole neighborhood, holiday caroling, annual community garage sale, plus a tremendous involvement from the community in the Talmadge Community Council, Neighborhood Watch and the Ken-Tal Planning Group. Talmadge is the most involved and community-oriented metro neighborhood. You can’t go wrong.
University Heights is one of San Diego’s oldest, most popular urban neighborhoods.
Trendy and cool, an undercurrent of good-old “home town” comfort wraps its residents like a warm blanket. Sure, there are other, more obvious perks like the Park Boulevard commercial district with its restaurants, pubs and variety of small businesses. And you can’t help but adore the beauty and craftsmanship of the turn-of-the-century homes and mature, tree-lined streets.
No one can argue that the location is excellent and central to all. Trolley Barn Park provides a lovely respite and gathering place — sort of like your own back yard.
But it’s not just its physical attributes that make University Heights so special. Young families and urbanites of all ages want a walkable “village” atmosphere, but still want to live in a real neighborhood — a community where they know their neighbors and are on a first-name basis with their mail carriers. This is the special ingredient in University Heights.
It’s the level of community participation, dedication and spirit that provides this unique element and increasingly drives its popularity.
The University Heights Community Association spearheads improvements, forges relationships with law enforcement and organizes events that continue to draw the community together.
There’s an amazing “Crime Watch” network fashioned after Neighborhood Watch to help keep residents informed and aware.
Birney Elementary School has become a highly sought-after International Studies Magnet school with a highly proactive PTA and parent foundation.
The University Heights Historical Society protects the charm and beauty of the rich history.
What is most amazing is the roll-up-your-sleeves and pitch-right-in attitude of the volunteers. Service and spirit are the foundation of a great community, and University Heights residents take that to heart.
Ascent Real Estate
During the last 15 years or so, many changes have occurred in Kensington. Not only has the physical makeup of the “village” changed with new restaurants, a new retail/loft building — a.k.a. the “Starbucks Building” — and a new structure of similar makeup under construction, but the occupants of Kensington have changed too. While many long-time residents are still around (hard to leave this great community) there are many more young families and children about. It is a bustling community, especially on weekends with the restaurants usually quite busy and flourishing: a nice variety of cuisines, a few wine bars, coffee (local and chain) and voila!
Kensington is now a destination neighborhood for many San Diegans.
Home prices are rebounding here and, like many other areas, the number of homes on the market is low, but sales are brisk. The charm of the Spanish colonial, craftsman bungalows and even the traditional homes are finding their way into new owners’ hearts. It is much more common these days to walk into someone’s home in Kensington and see many upgrades and remodeling that has taken place during the last ten years or so. Old mixed with new while preserving the original look and style has created Kensington’s mini renaissance!
Tristani Real Estate Group
Forbes Magazine named North Park as one of “America’s Best Hipster Neighborhoods.” That makes me proud to own property and work in North Park. Why? Because of its cultural diversity: From craftsman cottages to microbreweries and coffee shops, it’s a friendly and fun place to work and live.
And, people are flocking to the area.
As a desirable urban San Diego community, North Park, with its high rate of pedestrian activity, is a great place to enjoy. And for those that prefer riding to walking, there are plans for to make the area more bike-friendly when several streets will be designated bike corridors.
Great news … a primarily volunteer-based organization, North Park Main Street is a Business Improvement District (BID) in San Diego. The BID is dedicated to the revitalization of bringing new life and a lasting vitality to North Park.
And here’s a quick tip: A great way keep up with North Park events like the First Annual Bikes & Beers event on March 29th is to follow the Facebook page North Park Main Street.
Horizon Real Estate
Here in North Park, the Wild Wild West still survives! As of late, I’m noticing two wild and crazy Renaissances happenings. The first is that the area west of I-805 and East of Boundary Street is finally experiencing its Renaissance moment in North Park (south of University Avenue and west of the 805). There are several current listings in that zone, and they appear to sell fairly quickly and at surprisingly higher prices than one would expect.
On another note, a 3-bedroom, 2-bath home sold for $700,000 at the corner of Utah Street and Howard Avenue, one block from North Park Community Park and the water tower near El Cajon Boulevard. That sale raised my eyebrows, since we usually see that type of pricing closer to Morley Field. This means that the quadrant of homes between Texas and 30th streets and El Cajon Boulevard and University Avenue will most likely be experiencing their Renaissance moment in the near future as well.
All in all, North Park continues to be a great place to live and the gentrification of the area continues full steam ahead!
—”Broker Bill” Vivian,