News Blip

A peek into the future

If you look at my Redfin bio you find this: “Tom wants you to believe that it’s better to live near the City, near the Beach & Bay, near the ballpark, the mountains, the desert and Mexico … it’s better to live near those places than in them. San Diego East County is near all this, yet offers a quiet refuge from all the excitement.”

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. Despite the real estate troubles and the water shortages you’ve been hearing about, the big money sees things just a little differently in San Diego. We’re gonna have a bigger downtown and our East County communities will seem even more precious.

According to the San Diego Transcript (subscription required), we can expect nearly 8,000 more condos and more than 8,000 hotel rooms downtown in the near future. They are being built or awaiting approval. Office space is growing with 40K sq.ft. underway, 1.79M sq.ft approved and 2.55M sq.ft. planned. Add to that almost 1,000,000 square feet of retail space and you get the impression that someone with money has confidence in the future of real estate and business in downtown San Diego.

Only 2,537 apartments fall into the ‘soon to come’ category. We might guess that’s an indicator of continued high rental prices.

So, what are they thinking, adding to an already flooded condo market? The Centre City Development Corp seems to think that the market will catch up as the new units are ready for occupancy.

But you want to know what I’m thinking: what does this mean for East County?

Here’s the vision- hotels, condos, office buildings reach for the sky all over downtown. Frantic streets run between them in the scrofulent shade of the urban towers. Tiny people dart between buildings, vehicles, traffic signals and appointments. All day and all night long service vehicles remove trash and bring next week’s trash, carry people and payloads, and continuously circulate through the heart of the city like so many corpuscles. Tourists and residents see the City on postcards that they can never see from within. The city grows beyond reason, its tentacles mingling with others all along the coast from Ensenada to Santa Barbara and beyond. A looming wall of containerized humanity faces the uncertain ocean.


East County remains a sanctuary where, at the moment, an ordinary person can still own a bit of land with a house, a garage and a garden. The American Dream of the last century lingers a bit longer in Lemon Grove, La Mesa, El Cajon, Spring Valley, Bonita and more- all within spitting distance of the dynamic Big City.