Little Italy is San Diego-Central's oldest continuous neighborhood business district. The area was settled in the 1920s by Italian families who worked in the city's tuna industry. At one time over 6,000 Italian families lived and worked in this area located on the northern edge of the bay.
The decline of the tuna industry and the destruction of 35 percent of the neighborhood in order to build I-5 put the area into a long 30-year decline. However, in the early 90s the area began to revive and now it is one of the fastest growing areas of the city. New Italian American and non-Italian business owners alike are leasing retail and professional space.