Let’s say you’re thinking about moving to Downtown San Diego. Maybe you already live in Downtown San Diego but are thinking about making a move inside the city. Where to go? I’m going to cover 5 buildings I absolutely love and I even decided to throw in a bonus 6th building because well I couldn’t make my mind up and there are so many great places to live.
Just so you know, I didn’t include any apartment (rental only) buildings for this blog and video (above). These are all condo high rises. Living in a building with owners is a different experience than living in a high rise with just apartments. In my experience, people downtown come and go frequently in the apartment buildings but in a high rise condo, most of the residents own their unit so they tend to stay longer and take much better care of the building. Not always but for the most part. Nothing wrong with living in an apartment building, we will cover that in another one.
The first building I want to talk about is going to be one of my personal favorites, The Mark in East Village. If you read my previous blog’s or maybe you live in Downtown, you know that East Village is huge place and some parts are great, some parts not so much. The Mark is going to be in the best part of East Village in my opinion, right on Market Street between 8th avenue and 9th avenue. I actually lived there for about 4 years. It has full amenities with a resort caliber salt water pool (they call it a hydrotherapy pool whatever that is, I just think feels nice), an outdoor spa, decent fitness center (although you are right next to FIT which is pretty much the best gym in the city), full concierge which is awesome to have if you get a lot of deliveries (who doesn’t these days) and for letting in guests and friends.
There’s a courtyard with several barbeque areas that I used to take full advantage of. Most of the residents own their condo here but there are rentals as well. You have Starbucks one block away, grapes and hops for all your small market and wine needs, and the cherry on top: My favorite gastro pub, the Knotty Barrel is right across the street. If you are considering East Village, it’s doesn’t get any better than The Mark. You can buy into The Mark starting in the high $400’s all the way into the million dollar range.
So number two on my list is going to be Savina which is technically in the Columbia District but it feels like you are in Little Italy. Savina is Downtown San Diego’s newest high rise with luxury condos. Just walking in the lobby doors at Savina and you know you are stepping into something special. The first time I walked in, I could not believe it. The amenities are absolutely insane. The pool area, the lounges, the community rooms. The fitness center is amazing. This is one building that you probably don’t need to belong to an outside gym. Savina has it all. It’s super pet friendly. There is even a professional caliber dog wash room available. The floor plans are all super well thought out and most of the units have good to great views. You are right next to the San Diego Bay so just imagine what those views are like, looking over the bay and to the ocean. Most of the residents own their condo that live here but just like The Mark, there are rentals that come up periodically. If you are considering Little Italy and the Columbia District, you cannot skip this building. The price to get into Savina is a little higher starting in the low $600’s going way into the millions as you go up, the views get better, and your square footage increases.
Building number three on my list is going to be The Grande. Technically The Grande is actually two different towers. Each tower has its own set of full amenities to include a guest suite available for reservation, luxury hotel caliber pool and spa amenities, a sauna and steam room available, good gym, 24 hour concierge and security, guest parking which is a huge plus, a community rooms, and all the amenities. This is interesting but each tower is its own separate and independent HOA. So the north tower may or may not be doing the same thing or have the same rule as the south tower. They are 100% independent of each other. The Grande is located slightly to the west of Savina so not only do you have close proximity to Little Italy but you also have close proximity to the Harbor walk, the new portside restaurants, and everything else the harbor walk has to offer. I use the harbor walk all the time for walking and jogging. There floor plans I love here are the 1 bedroom with a den and there larger 2 bedroom floor plan facing west at just under 2000 square feet. You can get into The Grande in the low $600’s, maybe $500’s if you find a deal. Prices go into the millions for the upper floors with panoramic views.
Building number four is going to be in little Italy and looks amazing with its fresh new paint job. We are talking Acqua Vista. You get full luxury high rise amenities such as a pool, 24 hour concierge or security, valet parking, amazon package service center, the works but your monthly HOA payment is less than a $1,000 dollars per month. A $1000 dollars? That’s below what it normally would cost Downtown San Diego for those kind of amenities. Not at Acqua Vista. HOA’s vary per unit but generally they fall just above $500 or so which for the city is closer to average. Your proximity to India Street in Little Italy couldn’t be better. Little Italy is the street with all the great restaurants, shopping, ice cream shops, boutiques, wine bars, steak houses, pubs, and everything else that makes Little Italy so amazing. You are also close to the Little Italy dog park, and the bocce courts if you are into that. The prices tend to be lower at Acqua Vista at the moment. As more and more owners renovate and eventually sell, the price points will continue to rise. I am telling you, I can’t believe how different and more high end the paint job looks. You can get into Acqua Vista for the high $300’s right now and the prices go up from there. You can get an upper floor with bay and ocean views for $600k to $700k, at least at the time of recording this. Many of the residents own their unit but there are rentals as well.
For building number five, I went back and forth, so much so actually that I decided to add a sixth bonus building, I want to talk about Cityfront Terrace. This is the building that’s all brick on the exterior. It’s incredibly striking from the outside. There a lap pool, a splash pool, full amenities (in fact some of the most helpful and friendly staff in the entire downtown area), a gigantic gym and fitness center. There are over 60+ floor plans available. The build year is a little bit older than some of the other buildings we talked about so if you are looking for a fixer, this might be the building for you. There are many beautifully renovated units that sell but every now and then an original unit will hit the market. The views from the north side and great but some of the views on the west and south west side are spectacular. Bay to panoramic ocean views. The location is prime in the Marina District. You have parks, close proximity to the Gaslamp Quarter (without the noise), close proximity to seaport village and the headquarters, you have the convention center right there, easy access to the trolly if you need it. You can get in at the mid $500k range and up to the millions. There are a small number of rentals. The owner association limits it to only 25% of the units can be rented which can be good or bad.
My bonus building is going to be The Legend in East Village. If you have been to a San Diego Padres game at Petco Park, you have likely seen this building. It’s the only residential high rise in the city that is actually built into Petco Park. That’s right built into the ballpark. The Legend has full amenities such as a pool, spa, a fitness center, a concierge, but what I love are the amazing views from all the units that are south, south east, or west facing. You can literally watch a baseball game or an event at Petco Park from your balcony or living room. The higher floor condos even have bay and ocean views to go with their killer Petco Park views. Prices here range from the low $600’s to the millions although most of the prices tend to be between $600k and $800k. I really like this building. Kind of the ultimate for a Padre fan like me.
So there you have it, those are 5 buildings that I think you should consider if you are thinking about buying a condo downtown or renting in the city. I like each and every one of these buildings for different (and the same for some) reasons. There are other amazing buildings and places to live so let me know if you need more options to consider, I know the city like the back of my hand.
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