Ocean Beach's rapid gentrification

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Submitted by gzz on March 1, 2015 - 2:45pm

I liked OB a lot when I moved here in 2006, but it has only gotten better.

The oversized vehicle law has improved the quality of life here more than any other single factor.

No more rows of tall ugly campers taking up all the street parking and blocking views. I've always had multiple off-street spots and it was still a nuisance for me. It is an even bigger improvement for the 1/3 of us who have to park on the street, and the even larger group without extra guest parking.

The beach alcohol and smoking bans have also made it a nicer place with less litter and noise.

We are also seeing a steady improvement in the quality of businesses here:

1. Noodle House opened, then expanded, then opened up a 2nd location.

2. Newport went from having one place with sushi when I moved here to five.

3. Warehouse is a lot nicer than Portugalia which it replaced.

4. A run down auto body shop on cable was renovated into a LEED certified office building that's pretty and nicely landscaped.

5. Everyone wanted the old apple tree to become a new supermarket, but I have to admit the new CVS is really nice, and has a ton of free parking. Apple Tree will probably reopen on Newport later.

6. People's is going to build a new restaurant where Tiny's Tavern is located. Tiny's was my 3rd favorite bar, but we have too many of them already. It will probably be something beautiful with solar panels and another jacarundi shaded parking area. The 2nd floor deli in People's is already amazing, a bigger sit-down version could easily be the finest vegetarian restaurant in San Diego.

7. While I am not a fan of Pizza Port, it's much nicer from the outside than the ugly, bright red, windowless place it replaced.

8. Hungary Lu's on Voltaire is an upgrade on the old sub place that used to be there. The pizza and chocolate canoli are my favorite.

9. AZ went from a rundown bar to a fairly nice one.

10. Azucar, a cuban cafe, is really nice. I don't remember what it replaced.

11. The middle eastern place on bacon is a nice addition with late hours. Quality is average, but portion sizes are very good.

12. Oscar's Mexican Seafood is very good, with a nice renovation with polished hardwood everything. The old place was so dirty looking I never ate there.

Submitted by flyer on March 1, 2015 - 5:03pm.

We visit family in Sunset Cliffs and Point Loma quite often, and have noticed lots of changes going on near both areas. Your detailed "report" definitely shows much needed gentrification is taking place. Interesting info.

Submitted by deadzone on March 1, 2015 - 5:23pm.

That's all nice, but OB is still a dump. Only outstanding eating establishment is South Beach. Of course it expanded to two floors a few years ago so that is in line with your experience of things improving in OB.

Submitted by spdrun on March 1, 2015 - 8:15pm.

It's a good thing that it's a "dump." That perception keeps more gentrifying rabble out :)

Submitted by an on March 1, 2015 - 8:35pm.

I love these gentrification stories. I'm glad OB is going through it. Let's hope we'll see more areas throughout San Diego go through gentrification as well.

Submitted by spdrun on March 1, 2015 - 8:50pm.

Why? Not every area has to become suburbanized white-bread boring and expensive.

Submitted by Coronita on March 1, 2015 - 11:09pm.

man, I wish I knew about OB before the run up.

Now that's how to profit off of the recovery. I'm so jealous. Congrats to those that are going to milk this. Kudos.

Submitted by spdrun on March 1, 2015 - 11:23pm.

If you think the gentrification will continue, why not look into buying property there instead of staring jealously?

Submitted by Coronita on March 2, 2015 - 6:50am.

spdrun wrote:
If you think the gentrification will continue, why not look into buying property there instead of staring jealously?

Because I think the bulk of the gain has already been made.
And properties there now wouldn't be able to fit my budget constraints.

This sort of reminds me of what people use to say about Redondo Beach being a dump....

Submitted by spdrun on March 2, 2015 - 8:53am.

Search on Ocean Beach property -- looks like there are quite a few properties below $750k that might flip for more if the flipping thread is correct.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on March 2, 2015 - 8:57am.

I think it is a given that "ALL" SoCal coastal cities will be gentrified if they have not been already.

The SoCal coastal RE is just too limited and valuable for it not to be.

Kind of like an unstoppable wave.

Submitted by bibsoconner on March 2, 2015 - 11:10am.

I live in Ocean Beach and quite like it. The only 3 problems I see, and they are not huge are:

1. Lots of traffic coming in/out of OB, especially in summer. I think if we could convince the Arizona tourists that OB is horrible and they should go to La Jolla or Del Mar it would help a lot.

2. A few bad apples that don't clean up after their dogs. Not sure how to handle this one. Perhaps filming them in the act with cell phone? Other suggestions welcome!

3. I have hesitation to let the kids go exploring on their own, especially down on Newport. While I might find the whole scene amusing and not be bothered if I'm offered drugs, I'm not sure I want my kids exposed to that. Of course, that's in all neighborhoods and perhaps an argument could be made that it's better that it's so obvious.

Other than that it's quite nice. You can surf, run by the cliffs, close to downtown, PB etc. And the folks are colorful and nice.

Now if someone could just tell me the next up and coming place so I can invest in a small (tiny) house, condo or apt., I'd be much obliged.

Dave

Submitted by Coronita on March 2, 2015 - 11:15am.

spdrun wrote:
If you think the gentrification will continue, why not look into buying property there instead of staring jealously?

Sorry, I'm not rich and as smart of you. I don't have $700k in cash to throw around on just 1 property that I won't be living in myself, especially not right now when prices have already almost doubled.

Submitted by spdrun on March 2, 2015 - 11:20am.

flu: There are condos in the $200s and $300s, and why would you necessarily pay all cash?

e.g. http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhome...

Dave: what about SESD as close to the Gaslamp as you can approach?

Submitted by Coronita on March 2, 2015 - 11:58am.

spdrun wrote:
flu: There are condos in the $200s and $300s, and why would you necessarily pay all cash?

e.g. http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhome...

Dave: what about SESD as close to the Gaslamp as you can approach?

Condo's won't double from this point on imho. And I'm maxxed out on loans I think, nor do I want to spread myself too thin... Like I said, I'm not as rich as you :)

Submitted by FlyerInHi on March 2, 2015 - 1:01pm.

Nobody ever offers me any drugs. I was told like I look like a narc. Really hurts my feelings. I heard there's a marijuana dealer in my building.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on March 2, 2015 - 1:48pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
Nobody ever offers me any drugs. I was told like I look like a narc. Really hurts my feelings. I heard there's a marijuana dealer in my building.

drug dealers are dumb. The narc isn't gonna look like a narc. It's very rude of them to exclude you on that discriminatory manner .

Submitted by Hatfield on March 2, 2015 - 2:39pm.

Man, if you can't find weed in OB, I don't know what to tell you - it's practically Amsterdam here! Ironically, I don't partake anymore.

Submitted by gzz on July 15, 2015 - 9:01pm.

More new businesses in OB:

13. One of the antique stores on Newport is being replaced by a fancy wine place and a yoga studio.

14. The long-vacant lot on Sunset Cliffs and Voltaire that nearly became a gas station is getting a pretty office/retail complex that will have Evo vegetarian restaurant as one of the tenants and a fair amount of parking. The 2nd floor will be offices, the first floor retail.

15. The 76 gas station is going from having a crappy old building and a long-vacant repair shop to having a modern convenience store area.

16. A new wine bar opened on Newport Ave about 2 months ago. Looks very nice from walking by, but I have not been there yet.

17. The site of the old OB Water Store, by the Bacon St entrance to Robb Field, seems to be some sort of charter school. Someone told me they also have a program for disabled children. The building was gut-renovated. OB Water Store is now located in the strip mall with Grocery Outlet one mile away in Loma Portal.

18. Some high-end beachfront townhouses finished construction about three months ago after 5+ years of planning and permitting.
http://veerliving.com/

Submitted by Hatfield on July 16, 2015 - 12:20am.

I've lived in OB for the past 25 years and own three houses here, and I've seen a few cycles of ups and downs.

Apple Tree Market was no great loss. The owner was an asshole, and half the stuff on their shelves was expired. Seriously, the worst supermarket in town. Good riddance. I would have loved for another market to come in, but CVS is better than an empty building, It will be interesting to see if/what the Apple Tree owner does in the new location. I don't have high hopes.

The owner of the optometry shop on Newport keeps buying up commercial real estate and squeezing out tenants. Not sure how that's all going to play out.

Those three town homes at the end of West Point Loma will hopefully be the last of their kind that get built in OB. I'm not a fan of the ones at the foot of Saratoga either.

Traffic in and out has always sucked in summertime. Catalina is your friend.

OB is one of the last old-school beach towns left in California, and its reputation and the airport are probably the only things keeping it that way.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 16, 2015 - 12:13pm.

I don't see anything rapid about gentrification in OB.

In comparison, hillcrest, northpark and east village were more rapid.

Submitted by ltsddd on July 20, 2015 - 8:25pm.

19. South Beach Bar & Grille - Serving the best fish tacos in San Diego.

Submitted by meadandale on July 21, 2015 - 8:01am.

ltsdd wrote:
19. South Beach Bar & Grille - Serving the best fish tacos in San Diego.

Meh...

Cash only, 14oz "pints", horrible service. They rely a lot on their location and a nearly mythical reputation that they haven't actually merited in years.

I lived in OB for 8 years and have visited this place a hundred times. It wouldn't even be in my top 20 places to go these days.

Submitted by gzz on July 23, 2015 - 4:17pm.

My first time there a big pina colada slipped out of my hand and shattered on the floor, and the waitress just giggled a bit and handed a replacement to me (no charge) in under 3 minutes.

Avoid taco tuesday though, you may be waiting 45 minutes in a loud crowd to get your food. They do warn you of this in advance.

Submitted by spdrun on July 23, 2015 - 4:32pm.

Cash only, 14oz "pints", horrible service.

Cash only is a good thing. Less money for the bankster scum.

Submitted by meadandale on July 23, 2015 - 5:23pm.

spdrun wrote:

Cash only, 14oz "pints", horrible service.

Cash only is a good thing. Less money for the bankster scum.

I rarely carry cash when I dine out. It's a hassle.

Note that it's also easier to cook your books and cheat on your business taxes...just saying.

Submitted by livinincali on July 24, 2015 - 8:03am.

meadandale wrote:

Cash only, 14oz "pints", horrible service. They rely a lot on their location and a nearly mythical reputation that they haven't actually merited in years.

For anybody that cares it's not cash only anymore. I do remember when they were indeed one of the best fish tacos in town but now there's just so many other places doing quality fish tacos.

Submitted by spdrun on July 24, 2015 - 8:42am.

I rarely carry cash when I dine out. It's a hassle.

Note that it's also easier to cook your books and cheat on your business taxes...just saying.

I usually carry cash. Learned that the hard way after the 2003 NYC blackout and then Sandy. And I'd also never tip with a credit card. Too much risk of the tips being stolen by management.

Frankly, if people cheat on taxes, it's none of my business. I'm not law enforcement, and I consider it everyone's prerogative to choose their own level of honesty.

I don't think a society where crime is impossible is desirable.

Submitted by ltsddd on July 24, 2015 - 9:46am.

livinincali wrote:
meadandale wrote:

Cash only, 14oz "pints", horrible service. They rely a lot on their location and a nearly mythical reputation that they haven't actually merited in years.

For anybody that cares it's not cash only anymore. I do remember when they were indeed one of the best fish tacos in town but now there's just so many other places doing quality fish tacos.

Do you care to share what those places are? I have tried the little taco shop across from soutbeach and was quite disappointed & don't even waste your $ on the one that sits on the other end of the block. It's ironic that the best fish tacos I've had is at SB (grilled mahi mahi & baja/pollock) & a close second is brigantine; and not at any of those "authentic" mexican taco shops.

Submitted by meadandale on July 25, 2015 - 9:53am.

ltsdd wrote:
livinincali wrote:
meadandale wrote:

Cash only, 14oz "pints", horrible service. They rely a lot on their location and a nearly mythical reputation that they haven't actually merited in years.

For anybody that cares it's not cash only anymore. I do remember when they were indeed one of the best fish tacos in town but now there's just so many other places doing quality fish tacos.

Do you care to share what those places are? I have tried the little taco shop across from soutbeach and was quite disappointed & don't even waste your $ on the one that sits on the other end of the block. It's ironic that the best fish tacos I've had is at SB (grilled mahi mahi & baja/pollock) & a close second is brigantine; and not at any of those "authentic" mexican taco shops.

This story is about the canonical fish taco so has limited value if you are looking for grilled swordfish tacos (that's what SB excelled at: things like shark/swordfish/shrimp) but it is still a good read:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/04...

Submitted by gzz on July 25, 2015 - 6:59pm.

While breaded fried fish tastes good, it has all the empty fat and carbs of a small order of french fries.

Oscar's in Ocean Beach has really good grilled mahi tacos, as well as shrimp and steak.

They got lucky with that location. For years it was a crummy and dirty looking taco stand. Then some other guy spent a fortune renovating the space for a high-end casual place with things like ciopinno stew. They lasted only about 3 months but left all the new dark polished wood furniture and walls and new kitchen equipment.

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