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Spotlight on Downtown

Downtown San Diego has seen revitalization unlike any other region in the county. There are more than 100 projects in some phase of development among the eight neighborhoods that make up downtown - about 65 of which are residential or mixed use, and the rest commercial.

East Village - home of Petco Park - has seen a large portion of the redevelopment projects. Currently, 45 are listed on Centre City Development Corp.'s Web site and 31 of them are either a mix of residential and commercial, or condominiums and apartments. East Village will also see its own Class A office tower. DiamondView Tower, which will rise 15 stories high at the southeast corner of 10th Avenue and J Street next to Petco Park, will offer 250,000 square feet of office space and 75,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

Broadway 655 is another Class A office building to be located on the southeast corner of Kettner Boulevard and Broadway. The design is 23 stories tall with over 450,000 square feet of office space and 6,000 square feet of retail. Major tenants that have already signed leases include Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP; Best, Best and Krieger; Peterson & Price; Lankford & Associates Inc. and Webcor Builders.

With three major freeways and the trolley line all converging on downtown, more and more people are finding out that working and commuting to downtown is not as ominous as it once seemed. Approximately 5,000 businesses and almost 75,000 people work downtown, according to the Downtown San Diego Partnership.

But not everyone will find the commute necessary. Almost 9,000 housing units, ranging from lofts to apartments and studios, are being built throughout the eight downtown neighborhoods, most of which will be completed within the next five years.

The Gaslamp Quarter continues to be a major tourist attraction for San Diego. The 16.5-block neighborhood houses over 70 restaurants and nightclubs as well as movie theaters, shops, offices, galleries, apartments and lofts.

The Westfield Shoppingtown Horton Plaza occupies six and one-half blocks in the heart of downtown and contains more than 130 shops, several restaurants and a multi-screen movie theater. Opened in 1985, Horton Plaza was quickly a catalyst for further redevelopment in the city's core.

Little Italy is downtown's oldest continuous neighborhood business district. After years of decline, the area began to revitalize in the early 1990s. Walk down India Street on any given night now and the place is alive. Single-family homes, condos and apartments are all available in this neighborhood and the area is full of restaurants, shops that stock Italian imports, galleries and other boutiques.

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