9-Reasons Why Logan Heights Could Develop Into the Next North Park

By Sean Canning

The City of San Diego works very slowly. Over the past couple years they have finally began to update the Community Plans for various neighborhoods. Southeast San Diego was the 1st area to receive an updated Community Plan.  The last update was 30-years ago, so this is a significant change that will have major implications in Logan Heights over the next few decades. Let's breakdown why I believe Logan Heights could develop into San Diego's next North Park.

1. The Southeast San Diego Community Plan was updated. Finally.  

It's important to note that a Community Plan is merely a best-case suggestion for what should improve in a specific area. It's still up to the other City departments to follow suit w/ these suggestions.  San Diego has since revised their zoning to be mostly consistent w/ what was put forth in the Community Plan.  

This updated Community Plan + the followed zoning change are the most significant reason why Logan Heights improve over the next few decades.  

You can view the Southeast San Diego Community Plan here.  

The plan above demonstrates the area covered by the Southeast San Diego Community Plan. Note the orange line trolley + the proximity to downtown.  

The above plan labels the different neighborhoods within Southeast San Diego. We'll focus on Logan Heights which extends from Route 15 on the East to Route 5 on the West.  

2. Logan Heights is planned as an expansion of downtown, not as a suburb.  

Logan Heights is mostly zoned for multi-family lots (rather than single-family lots). While this means Companion Units / Guest Houses are not permitted, multiple Dwelling Units are.  

This presents a great opportunity for the younger generation to become homeowners b/c they can purchase a duplex to live in one unit + rent the other. The rental income offsets the mortgage, providing a lower point of entry into a challenging San Diego housing market.  

The plan above shows the zoning density in various areas of Southeast San Diego. Note how the density increases in the Diamond District of Logan Heights (West of 28th St., where the streets are turned 45-degrees).  

In the plan above you can clearly see how density is concentrated around the existing trolley stops. The trolly's orange line heads into downtown right after these two stops.  

3. Logan Heights is in a rare federally designated Promise Zone.  

This was a cool discovery I made which a lot of people are unaware of. The federal government designated Logan Heights as a 'Promise Zone'. There are only 4 Promise Zones in California + only 22 in the entire United States.  

This means Logan Heights is set to get funds from the federal government to create jobs, improve economic activity, reduce violent crime, expand educational opportunities, access top-quality affordable housing, + promote health / access to healthcare.  

You can read more about the San Diego Promise Zone here.  

4. The City of San Diego has long-term plans for Logan Heights.  

The existing trolley will be a major asset to Logan Heights. Additionally, the City's planners are working to carve out commercial corridors on Market St., Imperial Ave., Commercial St., + National Ave. A 'Village Area' has been dedicated around the central corridor streets to proved a destination + gateways are loosely planned to signify arrival (as is common in other prominent neighborhoods in San Diego).  

The plan above indicates the planned Village Area, Historic District, + the future commercial corridors.  

Above is a conceptual rendering of what National Ave. could look like if it develops as planned.  This is a huge difference to the residential homes that currently exist.  

5.  We're getting a brand new school!  

Education is a measure of the future + improving education is one of the best ways to improve neighborhoods. A complete overhaul has been prepared for Logan-Memorial, which supports students from kindergarten through 12th grade. This is estimated to be a $100M project, but the impacts to the neighborhood will be significant.  

6. High walkability + plenty of public transportation.  

Logan Heights has a walkability score of 83 out of 100, making it highly-walkable. While the neighborhood might not be ideal to wander after dark, it's only a matter of time before it's much safer than in the past. You may be familiar w/ this Gangland episode featuring Logan Heights, but a lot has changed in the 7+ years since that was filmed.  

Public transportation is available via trolley or bus.  Additionally, new bike lanes are planned + Uber / Lift rides to downtown, Petco Park, + Comic Con are only about $5 each.  

The existing trolley will become a major asset to the community.  

The map above shows a future plan to create a bicycle network which will connect Logan Heights to Barrio Logan + downtown San Diego.  

7. All the benefits of Barrio Logan w/o the headache.  

Route 5 splits Logan Heights from Barrio Logan. A quick walk around Barrio Logan + it's easy to see the hip restaurants, breweries, + art galleries that have been popping up for the past few years. These destinations in Barrio Logan are a quick walk from Logan Heights, but development is another story. The California Coastal Zone runs along Route 5, making Barrio Logan (+ everything else West of the highway) in this restricted area. This means any significant development will require an expensive, drawn-out permit process.  ust East, on the other side of the highway, you won't have to deal w/ any of those issues -making Logan Heights far easier to obtain construction permits.  

8. Logan Heights will receive more parks + possibly even an urban hiking trail.  

The historic Chicano Park is shared between Logan Heights + Barrio Logan, but over the next few years many pocket green spaces are planned throughout Southeast San Diego. There is even an urban hiking trail planned which would be similar to the recently opened City Heights urban trail loop.  

There is a lot of green space that can be added to the urban fabric of Southeast San Diego.  

Above is a proposed urban hiking trail which could be a great amenity to the neighborhood if the City can maintain it.  

9. It's the last place in San Diego that you can afford!  

Seriously, Logan Heights may be the last remaining neighborhood where the younger generation can afford to own a home (unless you'd consider East County). The property value of Logan Heights is anchored by it's location to downtown -which is steadily expanding South.  For people who work downtown, Logan Heights offers a quick + convenient commute w/ house prices that are accessible w/ plenty of room for upward growth.  

If you're considering a development project in Logan Heights + would like to discuss your plan w/ an architect, please feel free to reach out to setup a consultation.  

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