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North Parker Lofts boosts urban renewal with hip, modern spaces

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The North Parker Lofts on 30th and Upas recently opened with 27 two-bedroom rental units. Four restaurants are also scheduled to open in the mixed-use space, including Underbelly, Influx Café, Tacos Perla and Modern Times Brewery. Photo courtesy Jonathan Segal FAIA

The new North Parker Lofts project is now open at 30th and Upas streets at the southern end of North Park. It includes 27 two-bedroom rental units, four retail suites totaling 6,000 square feet and office space for North Parker architect-developer Jonathan Segal FAIA.

The L-shaped building features a pedestrian-friendly open design, said Matthew Segal, Jonathan Segal’s son and firm manager. The entire street frontage is glass. A courtyard in the rear has a separate 3,400-square-foot building that serves as the new home for the architectural firm.

The project includes two rental units set aside as affordable housing, and 54 tuck-under parking spaces in the back.

The two-bedroom, one-bath units range from 900 to 1,200 square feet. Amenities include a balcony, deck or patio, hardwood floors, granite countertops, vaulted ceilings and skylights.

Monthly rates range from $2,200 to $3,000. Segal said 15 units are occupied, with just five spaces still available for rent.

The biggest challenge with the project was figuring out the parking, Segal said.

The zoning in the area allows residential parking only in the rear 50 percent of the lot. Because the property is long and narrow, the architects were faced with either a shallow space along the length of the lot or an awkward space along the short end of the lot.

Using incentives from the affordable housing units, the firm was able to reduce the parking requirement.

The recent renaissance of North Park has brought with it a score of restaurants and the neighborhood has a growing reputation as a craft beer mecca.

Area gourmands and craft beer aficionados have been awaiting the opening of four restaurants at North Parker Lofts: Underbelly, Influx Café, Tacos Perla and Modern Times Brewery.

North Parker will be a second location for Underbelly, a popular if cramped ramen shop in Little Italy. The new space, at 2,300 square feet, will be more than twice the size of the original, and will allow the restaurant to expand the menu to include yakitori (Japanese charcoal grilling).

Segal said Underbelly is aiming to open at the end of June.

Influx Café will open its third coffee shop at North Parker by the end of May. It already has locations in Little Italy and Golden Hill serving coffee, breakfast items, salads and sandwiches.

Tacos Perla is a new Mexican-influenced taco shop from the owners of The Pearl Hotel. Jaison Burke, chef at The Pearl, will create three rotating selections of seasonally filled tacos along with authentic versions of carne asada and pork adobada tacos.

Tacos Perla will also serve Mexican craft beer and beer cocktails in its new 750-square-foot space, which is set to open at the end of the month.

The new Modern Times tasting room opens this week with 16 of its beers on tap. It opened its brewery in Point Loma just last summer. At the North Parker, the 1,600-square-foot interior space will feature views onto 30th Street and the main walkway to the complex. There will also be two large outdoor seating areas.

Jonathan Segal acquired the North Parker property last year for $2.25 million. Previously, an appliance store, thrift store, art gallery and a mishmash of other businesses in several worn-out buildings were at the site. Demolition began in April of last year.

Since his first development in 1990, Segal has designed and developed a number of urban residential, mixed-use housing and live/work residences in downtown San Diego, Little Italy and La Jolla. He has won a number of accolades, including six national AIA awards for residential and urban design.

-Klam is a San Diego-based freelance writer.

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