City of San Diego's Little Italy Neighborhood Development
About Little Italy: The sloping landscape at the northern downtown edge of San Diego Bay was once home to the many Italian families who derived a living from the highly successful tuna fishing industry. Although large-scale commercial fishing is now a memory, the district's southern European character remains. Always a "neighborhood" first and then a commercial and light industrial center, Little Italy's spirit is perhaps best typified by the rebuilt Washington Elementary School and development of the adjacent Amici Park, which serves both as a playground for the school and a park including a bocce ball court for the community. Its lovely vistas now offer an urban neighborhood with single-family homes, condominiums, lofts and apartments. The India Street commercial strip is alive with Italian restaurants, small cafes, art and graphic studios/galleries, specialty shops and low-rise offices.
Little Italy Neighborhood Development Receives State Award: Little Italy Neighborhood Development (LIND) one of the region’s most innovative residential ideas, was one of six new successful affordable housing projects that has received the State Housing Director’s Award for Housing Development Excellence this year. The award highlights the important role of redevelopment agencies in addressing California’s housing problems and needs for the future. Award recipients are selected based upon the level of RDA participation, the number of units assisted, community problems or needs addressed and the overall success of the project. The Centre City Development Corporation’s (CCDC) downtown infill project involved the purchase of a block of land and a successful mixture of housing types and prices. The Little Italy development consists of 16 row homes, 12 affordable rental lofts and 37 low and moderate income apartments. More than half of the units produced will be restrited to low-and moderate-income households. This successful development demonstrates that smaller scale, mixed-income housing can be in-filled in an urban setting.
More About the Lind Project: The aging housing stock primarily modest single-family homes, duplexes and small apartment complexes is being renovated and amplified by the LIND project. Encompassing a block at the heart of the district, the LIND is a joint venture of architects and developers whose separate products include the Kettner Rowhomes, the Beech Street loft project and the Villa Maria and Cedar Street low- and moderate-income apartments. Another of the neighborhood's distinctive housing options is La Pensione, which is at once an affordable European pension with accommodations for travelers, and also an upscale SRO. Little Italy's distinctive character is further being reinforced by continuing infill for-sale and rental residential projects. Property has been acquired recently by the Redevelopment Agency for future housing developments.