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Spotlight on La Jolla

Since its earliest days, La Jolla has always seemed to attract an "A list" type of crowd - whether they come to visit, stay to raise a family or operate a business.

Originally La Jolla was a destination for those interested in seaside resort living. To accommodate that lifestyle, world class shopping, gourmet restaurants and luxurious hotels were developed. Currently, there are approximately 1,400 businesses within the 30-block business improvement district (BID) known as "the Village," according to Promote La Jolla, the administrator of the BID. Such businesses include the historic La Valencia Hotel, the chic Hotel Parisi, plus more than 60 fine dining establishments, numerous cafes and takeout restaurants. Several doctors, dentists, lawyers and other types of professionals also like to hang their shingle in the Village.

La Jolla is also home to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, the Contemporary Museum of Art, San Diego, the La Jolla Playhouse and the Steven Birch Aquarium & Museum.

Numerous biotech and high tech firms also operate out of La Jolla, including La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co., a company that was founded in 1989 and develops therapies for autoimmune diseases, such as lupus. Drugmaker Pfizer Inc., bought a research center in La Jolla last November for $372 million cash. The 33-acre campus contains about 1 million square feet of laboratories and offices, and employs 1,500 people, according to New York-based Pfizer. Scientists at the La Jolla Pfizer center are conducting late-stage clinical trials on drugs for kidney and stomach cancer and drug- resistant strains of HIV and AIDS.

More than 42,000 people call La Jolla home - and some of the homes in La Jolla are among the most exquisite in San Diego County. Figures from the 2000 U.S. Census indicate that the median home price in the 92037 ZIP code was $663,900 at a time when the national median home price was $119,000. Since then, the median home prices in San Diego County have continued to go up and now the average house in La Jolla sells for over a million dollars.

In spite of all the beauty La Jolla has to offer, the community -- like many in San Diego -- suffers from parking and traffic frustrations. The La Jolla Parkway Traffic Reconfiguration, Water and Sewer Improvements Project was an effort to reconfigure the worst choke point and second most congested intersection in San Diego. Work to replace the 80-year-old water and sewer lines were completed at the same time, and the entire infrastructure project earned the Transportation Project of the Year honor at the 2004 American Public Works Association awards ceremony.

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