The area was a testing site for the U.S. Army during World War II, and the Navy used it as a bombing range. When the city of San Diego began expanding, Mira Mesa was created as the city’s very first suburb in 1969.
“It used to be a mesa with rocks, rattlesnakes and coyotes,” said Pam Stevens, a Mira Mesa Town Council member. “Then during the ’60s there was a big boom -- some of the oldest baby boomers were starting families and younger baby boomers were being born, so there was a huge need for such a community.”
The area’s first major shopping centers were built in the 1980s and several new ones were added in the ’90s. In the east, near the I-15, the Mira Mesa Market Center at the junction of Mira Mesa Boulevard and Black Mountain Road includes Barnes & Noble, the Edwards Cinema multiplex and IMAX theater, Home Depot, Old Navy, Men’s Wearhouse and many dining options.
In central Mira Mesa, at the crossroads of Camino Ruiz and Mira Mesa Boulevard, the Mira Mesa Mall hosts Target, Toys R’ Us, Kohl’s, Bed, Bath & Beyond and chain restaurants including Souplantation and Fuddruckers, as well as Mira Mesa Lanes for bowling.