Welcome to San Diego Blog | April 20, 2012
San Diego Condos Walking Tour
The Welcome to San Diego team offers weekly walking tours on Saturday afternoons from 1-5pm for those interested in downtown San Diego real estate, history, and city living. It’s a fun-filled day where we visit neighborhood businesses, and downtown condominiums, enjoying a taste of local cuisine and a glimpse into downtown’s urban lifestyle.
Since the guides are licensed real estate agents, we tour through beautiful condominiums for sale, providing inside information on real estate values and available properties, while learning fascinating tidbits of San Diego history.
East Village Walking Tour
The focus of our tour is East Village, the largest neighborhood of downtown San Diego. The district’s biggest attraction is Petco Park, the major league baseball venue for San Diego Padres. Since the construction of the ballpark in 2004, East Village has experienced a dramatic resurgence of residential and business development. Residents in nearby high-rise condominiums enjoy views of the playing field from balconies and rooftop decks, and during baseball season the neighborhood restaurants, shops and bars take on additional energy and vibrancy as visitors are drawn in from all around San Diego County and beyond.
Our tour begins on the Park-to-Bay Link in East Village, a landmark $32 million suspension bridge completed in 2011 to fulfill a 100-year old vision of connecting San Diego Bay to Balboa Park. While on top of the bridge, we’ll take in views of Coronado Island and Martin Luther King Promenade, a linear park that runs the length of Harbor Boulevard paying tribute to the late civil rights leader.
The architecture and master plan for East Village incorporate design elements from the neighborhood’s colorful past. At the turn of the 20th century, East Village was known as the “warehouse district”. Our walking tour will include a close-up look at some of the district’s more notable “re-use” projects — architectural innovations that incorporate original warehouse buildings with contemporary construction and design, preserving the character and history of the neighborhood.
TR Produce is an excellent example of a re-use project. The 75-year old brick warehouse has been adaptively re-used, beautifully re-designed into commercial loft-style condominiums, office space with updated materials of modern flare. While the façade is original red brick, the condominiums are built of steel and glass.
Another example, the historic Western Metal Supply Company is a 4-story brick building that provided steel and large hardware products to the construction and transportation industries in the early 20th century. Once slated for demolition, the building was preserved and underwent structural renovation to meet current day building codes. It is now an integral part of Petco Park, housing a restaurant, souvenir shop, ballpark party suites, and roof top bleachers.
Showley Bros Candy Factory began its operation in 1905 and produced candy 50 years in San Diego’s warehouse district. The entire building was preserved and carefully moved on a huge platform a few blocks to the east side of ballpark grounds to make way for an open space greenbelt for residents and visitors.
Just across the street from Petco Park is San Diego Fire Station #4. It has two operational trucks, and is the oldest running fire station in San Diego, dating back to 1936. City councilman Kevin Faulconer has been instrumental in sprucing up the 76-year old station with new signage, flags, and interior décor. The building is a historical landmark and a source of community pride.
New East Village
Park at the Park, built within stadium grounds, is a large grassy area for picnicking, watching the game, or enjoying the great outdoors. Since a ticket costs only $5.00, it is an easy and inexpensive way to enjoy a baseball game on a summer afternoon. The greenbelt doubles as a public park for residents, open daily from sunrise to sunset. A life-size statue of local hero, Tony Gwynn, long-time Padres player and San Diego native, stands in the middle of the park.
Thomas Jefferson School of Law opened its new campus in East Village in January 2011. While excavating the site, construction workers stumbled upon two rare finds: the bones and tusks of a 300,000 year-old Ice Age mammoth, and 10 feet directly below, the skeleton of a 500,000 year-old ancient gray whale. Both fossil discoveries have become a part of San Diego history, on display in the law school, and the Natural History Museum at Balboa Park.
The new Central Library is currently under construction, expected to be twice the size of our current downtown library, and completed in 2013. Architects Rob Wellington Quigley and Tucker Sadler designed the 9-story building with a lattice dome to continue the theme and architectural style of Balboa Park to San Diego Bay. The state-of-the-art library will house a charter school, outdoor café, children’s library, teen center, homework center, gallery/exhibit space, auditorium, and 2 levels of parking.
If you would like to join our real estate and lifestyle walking tour, please give us a call (619) 246-8400.