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 livinincali on July 27, 2015 - 7:33am.

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.

I personally like Blue Water or the Fish Shop in pb better than south beach now. I also like the Kikos truck on Friars road a little east of the YMCA in a parking lot with a liquor store. South beach on taco Tuesday/Thursday is hard to beat price wise if you get there early enough to avoid the massive crowd.

Of course pretty much all of these places share the same trait. They tend to be really busy most of the time.

Submitted by gzz on November 21, 2015 - 7:13am.

1. Oscar's has a new name and owner but is basically the same

2. The 76 gas station reopened and is now very nice and modern, but still has very cheap gas

3. A fancy wine tasting place that seems to be operated by a vineyard opened on Newport near Cable

4. Another fancy bar opened next to Warehouse. They have no front door at all, just a roll up, so it has a nice open feel.

Submitted by gzz on November 21, 2015 - 7:24am.

Some RE market observations:

1. Late summer and early fall was disappointing for OB RE bulls, with inventory tracking up and prices holding flat. Just this past week though there were a big slew of active houses going pending and pending going sold, so inventory is once again extremely tight.

2. We are finally getting some new commercial space with the near completion of the large two-floor building on Sunset Cliffs and Cable. Only one announced tenant so far, a raw and vegan fast food place. Looks like parking will be ample and it will have nice landscaping. The building isn't a landmark, but it is fairly pretty and much better than most "neighborhood commercial" buildings in San Diego.

3. Some drama involving a suicide attempt and waving around a gun at Ebb Tide Motel brought a bunch of emergency vehicles.

Nothing could be better for the immediate neighbors on the 5000 block of WPL than shutting it down or a complete renovation and tenant replacement.

The owner must pay a ton to insurance that place with the all issues it has.

Ebb Tide actually has improved somewhat over the years but is a still a nasty scar on a great neighborhood a block from the ocean.

Submitted by gzz on April 16, 2021 - 10:41am.

OB now home to the highest end Filipino restaurant in San Diego:

https://www.starfisheatery.com/

They are even going to have a tasting menu!

Every single year I have been here since 2006 dining has improved. Covid broke that happy streak in 2020, but from the ashes of the covid casualties, new places will rise!

Even with the bad 2020 issues, the newly opened OB Dirty Birds is the best of the San Diego locations and is a great addition. So is the new Thai place, Soi OB.

I hope the outdoor dining becomes permanent. The slightly reduced street parking is no skin off my back!

Submitted by gzz on April 16, 2021 - 11:36am.

I enjoyed rereading all the prior comments from 2015. I largely agree with them.

I don't think I'd say the pace of gentrification is "rapid" anymore with regard to commercial outlets. It certainly was 2012-2016, but since then it has been slow and steady, with a few dumpy places going upscale each and every year.

Residential has been on fire non-stop since 2012.

Flu doubted a condo purchase would double in 2015... they more than doubled. My condo's zestimate is 141% higher than my purchase price from late 2016!

Somebody said they liked Blue Water's fish tacos better than South Beach.

Three years after that comment, Blue Water chose OB as the spot for its second location. It is such a great place, the $6 fish tacos are ultra fresh, grilled, and filling enough to have just one for a light lunch. I get their raw fish to cook at home pretty often too.

Submitted by sdrealtor on April 16, 2021 - 11:38am.

Would be great to update the gentrification efforts since the OP and how much farther its gotten. Any major imporvements since or on the way?

Submitted by gzz on April 16, 2021 - 12:47pm.

1. For my own lifestyle, Blue Water's opening was huge. I really like high end local-caught fish!

2. The single biggest physical change is the old antique mall on Newport was replaced with a small-format Target. The same location decades ago was a Coronet, a defunct chain pretty similar to Target.

The whole Cable to Sunset Cliffs block was about 75% antique stores when I moved here, now there is only a single one left. Several of the spots are beer, wine, and hard kambucha tasting rooms.

3. Another positive change has been the introduction of a private neighborhood security force. There are still bums, but I have not seen any aggressive panhandling since they arrived a few years ago.

4. On the beach block, a run-down biker bar was replaced by the Holding Company. They constructed a brand new building with a stunning roof deck and ample space for live music. It is owned by the Noodle House guy and is his third OB restaurant, and the food is great. I am not much of a drinker so I have not been there for the evening bar periods.

5. Right across the street from Holding Company, and also with rooftop view seating, is OB Brewery. Seems like a nice place to mostly drink with some light snacks.

6. Kilowatt is another tasting room that replaced a dirty old auto repair shop. I did not drink there, but it is really pretty with elaborate trippy lighting.

7. The Wednesday farmer's market keeps physically expanding and spilling out into new areas, including the grassy field by the beach and side streets.

8. Appletree supermarket reopened in a new location on Newport that used to be a theater. It is completely different than the old downscale store. Now it is most similar to a Sprouts.

9. The small shopping plaza on Santa Monica and Cable was knocked down and rebuilt and now has a Dirty Birds and Mr. Moto Pizza, both of which are great.

10. A few new yoga studios, mini-gyms, and hair salons have opened. I don't patronize those places, but their move-in renovations mean these places all look nicer than the prior tenants. There must be at least 6 yoga places in the central OB area, which I define as Sunset Cliffs to the Beach north of Niagara.

Submitted by sdrealtor on April 16, 2021 - 1:00pm.

Wow! Lots of changes. It sounds like it is getting as they say up here yupified just like Encinitas. Im sure many of the old timers are equally none too pleased as up here

Submitted by gzz on April 16, 2021 - 1:25pm.

The boomers were unhappy when Nati's Mexican closed down after 60 years of operation. It was pretty awful from my two visits over 15 years, expensive but heavy and bland.

I lacked the nostalgic connection with it, though it did evoke ChiChi's bad Mexican chain food in Ohio in the 1990s. 1990s ChiChi's was so bad that it had a menu item called "fried ice cream" and even that was bad.

In its place is a drastically better hipster Mexican place that has a great semi-outdoor setup. And the prices are about the same as Nati's, just better environment and food.

Submitted by sdrealtor on April 16, 2021 - 2:40pm.

Shame. We have great old Mexican places up here that are excellent and authentic. In wth the new. OB was ripe for gentrification

Submitted by gzz on April 16, 2021 - 3:01pm.

My grandmother is about to turn 91, but not yet ready to retire from her side gig of house staging:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4505-...

Submitted by sdrealtor on April 17, 2021 - 12:28am.

Was she born in 1930? It was the most spectacularist of years. That was the year the greatest person ever was delivered to bring a massive dose of humanity to the world. I see that year when I close my eyes

Submitted by svelte on April 18, 2021 - 10:22am.

sdrealtor wrote:
Was she born in 1930? It was the most spectacularist of years. That was the year the greatest person ever was delivered to bring a massive dose of humanity to the world.

You must be talking about The Big Bopper. :0)

Submitted by gzz on April 20, 2021 - 12:09pm.

Yes, Gram was born in 1930.

Her mother was born in 1913 and lived to 2016, meaning in early 2016 my grandmother was 86 years old but had a living mother, which I doubt happens to more than 1 in 10,000 people.

Submitted by gzz on April 20, 2021 - 12:09pm.

OB Elementary now rated 10/10 by Great Schools, the rating company Zillow uses. It was 9/10 for as long as I can remember.

Submitted by sdrealtor on April 20, 2021 - 1:23pm.

A great year and the year my mother was born as well. Great Schools changed their methodology a year or two ago. Our schools had always been 10/10 and now they range from 7 to 9. The same is happening in Carmel valley now also. What I beleive they did was stop comparing schools against each other and start comparing them against schools with similar demographics. The new methodology now rewards schools with lower test scores that outperform their demographics and penalizes high test score schools that have very strong demographics. In essence they are rewarding good teaching over good students as they should.

Submitted by svelte on April 20, 2021 - 4:34pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
A great year and the year my mother was born as well. Great Schools changed their methodology a year or two ago. Our schools had always been 10/10 and now they range from 7 to 9. The same is happening in Carmel valley now also. What I beleive they did was stop comparing schools against each other and start comparing them against schools with similar demographics. The new methodology now rewards schools with lower test scores that outperform their demographics and penalizes high test score schools that have very strong demographics. In essence they are rewarding good teaching over good students as they should.

Funny you should mention this. I just noticed that San Marcos schools had dropped to 6/10. The explanation above explains it, as I don't think SMUSD schools have changed much in the last few years.

And it sounds as if 1930 was indeed a great year.

Submitted by svelte on April 20, 2021 - 4:36pm.

gzz wrote:
Yes, Gram was born in 1930.

Her mother was born in 1913 and lived to 2016, meaning in early 2016 my grandmother was 86 years old but had a living mother, which I doubt happens to more than 1 in 10,000 people.

Congrats on your gma living to 103. That's something to be proud of!

Submitted by gzz on May 4, 2021 - 3:36pm.

The past month there's been a lot more listings, at much higher prices. They sell very quickly.

OB is not unique on this front, but Newport Ave is so much more charming with tons of outdoor dining space and less street parking.

I hope the pedestrianization becomes permanent both here and Garnet Ave, Gaslamp, 5th Ave in Bankers Hill, and all the other areas that ramped up covered outdoor dining.

Zillow keeps sending me e-mails saying I am charging too little rent. I won't because I am too soft, I have never raised rent in my six years a-landlording.

Submitted by sdrealtor on May 4, 2021 - 6:42pm.

A lot more listings if accurate is kinda unique. Hoping it helps met some of the demand that is being left wanting elsewhere

Submitted by svelte on May 5, 2021 - 10:44am.

gzz wrote:
Zillow keeps sending me e-mails saying I am charging too little rent. I won't because I am too soft, I have never raised rent in my six years a-landlording.

I like that gzz. If you have good permanent tenants, you're obviously factoring that in to the equation - not only is it the nice thing to do, it might actually be costing you little to nothing since the places are occupied 100%...

When we were in school up north, the landlord ("Chip") gave us a rent break because he knew we took excellent care of the place, paid on time or earlier, and helped him keep an eye on the other units since he lived elsewhere. It was win-win. A man knocked on my door one day and asked what I paid in rent, because he was considering buying the next building over. I told him but explained we got a rent break so it was not representative. Didn't help, he cursed and stomped off saying that's not close to what the seller next door was saying... Sorry!

How does Zillow know how much you are charging? Or is it telling you what they should rent for and you're extrapolating...

Submitted by gzz on June 23, 2021 - 11:33am.

Early Summer 2021: more new "upper middle" to high end places:

1. Dona's Mexican restaurant is great, reminds me of high-end hipster foodie places in Mexico proper. They just get everything right, and are much better than Nati's (which they replaced) in food and general environment.

2. Breakfast Republic - high end breakfast isn't my thing, but family and friends report good things. Really nice decor. I liked the old tenant better, called Warehouse, but they never caught on.

3. Holding Co - A stunning third floor roof deck about a 90 second walk from the sand. The food is good too.

4. Dirty Birds - More of a restaurant and less of a bar than the PB location, good food and service and somewhat less crowded than other places.

5. Mad Muncheez - Gourmet grilled cheese place. Too heavy for me to go regularly, but I tried them once and it was great. This trend started in SF so I include this as gentrification even though their prices are pretty low. Cute story as well, a young couple started with farmer's market stands and saved up for years to get a real location.

6. Blue Water Grill - Ocean-front outdoor patio seating and giant fresh-caught grilled fish tacos, as well as raw fish to cook at home. I have been here 20+ times and it is always very good.

7. Ocean Beach Meat Co. - A full service butcher shop in a large gun-renovated spot on Newport. Have a look online: https://www.obmeatco.com/

8. It's Raw - The most authentic poke place I have been to, and I go to a lot of places. Actual Hawaiians own and operate it. They keep it simple with only four meats, raw tuna and salmon, cooked pork and shrimp.

Submitted by gzz on June 23, 2021 - 11:35am.

Per SDLookup, mean PPSF listings in 92107 was $699 in July 2020, and is now $1046. That's up 49.6% in less than a year.

Now that probably reflects a different mix of listings, but we're on fire!

Submitted by sdrealtor on June 23, 2021 - 2:15pm.

gzz wrote:
Early Summer 2021: more new "upper middle" to high end places:

1. Dona's Mexican restaurant is great, reminds me of high-end hipster foodie places in Mexico proper. They just get everything right, and are much better than Nati's (which they replaced) in food and general environment.

2. Breakfast Republic - high end breakfast isn't my thing, but family and friends report good things. Really nice decor. I liked the old tenant better, called Warehouse, but they never caught on.

3. Holding Co - A stunning third floor roof deck about a 90 second walk from the sand. The food is good too.

4. Dirty Birds - More of a restaurant and less of a bar than the PB location, good food and service and somewhat less crowded than other places.

5. Mad Muncheez - Gourmet grilled cheese place. Too heavy for me to go regularly, but I tried them once and it was great. This trend started in SF so I include this as gentrification even though their prices are pretty low. Cute story as well, a young couple started with farmer's market stands and saved up for years to get a real location.

6. Blue Water Grill - Ocean-front outdoor patio seating and giant fresh-caught grilled fish tacos, as well as raw fish to cook at home. I have been here 20+ times and it is always very good.

7. Ocean Beach Meat Co. - A full service butcher shop in a large gun-renovated spot on Newport. Have a look online: https://www.obmeatco.com/

8. It's Raw - The most authentic poke place I have been to, and I go to a lot of places. Actual Hawaiians own and operate it. They keep it simple with only four meats, raw tuna and salmon, cooked pork and shrimp.

So much for 50% of businesses being gone in a year. Im hearing restaurant openings are booming all over

Submitted by gzz on November 16, 2021 - 10:49am.

Everyone wants an OB SFH, but nobody's leaving!

Mid-November SFH inventory in 92107:

2007 - 66
2009 - 53
2011 - 55
2015 - 33
2017 - 26
2021 - 8

Submitted by gzz on November 16, 2021 - 11:13am.

Rents in OB are still mooning. Availability outside the very high end is close to zero, and when things open they get immediately flooded with applicants.

Looks like we are headed for a 50-70% increase from Jan 2019 to Jan 2022. E.g. 1/1 of ~700sf going from $1300-1600 to $2100-2600.

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