As the new decade has arrived, now is the time to reflect on 2019’s greatest achievements. For the Little Italy Association (LIA), those achievements included a string of new businesses, neighborhood expansions and the openings of new residential spaces. Saying goodbye to 2019, the neighborhood welcomes 2020 with an abundance of new projects and area restorations to help this hip and historical neighborhood thrive.
This past year, the neighborhood welcomed Morning Glory in April, an immersive breakfast dining experience that set fire amongst the brunch scene in San Diego. Other new restaurants include Zinque, Supernatural Sandwiches, Farmer’s Table, Parakeet Café and the globally popular burger joint, Shake Shack.
Little Italy visitors were able to book rooms at the new Carté Hotel that opened in September, experiencing an upscale hotel environment with luxurious amenities located steps away from trendy Little Italy shops and restaurants. The gorgeous Luma Apartments, a 24-story high rise, also came to completion and began leasing its modern and contemporary styled apartments.
The India Street lighting project saw the installation of permanent stringed lights across India Street. The lights will twinkle throughout the neighborhood with different light animations set for a variety of events, holidays and seasonal community activities. Making a debut at the 21st Annual Little Italy Tree Lighting and Christmas Village, the lights were made to sparkle white—making Little Italy a true winter wonderland.
Looking forward to 2020, LIA continues to preserve Italian culture with the construction of a new public piazza. The Piazza Constanza will honor Midge Constanza, a social and political activist who served as the first female assistant to President Carter and fought for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and other marginalized groups. This new piazza will be located at the corner of W. Ash and Columbia streets, directly outside the Luma Apartments.
Other community projects taking place within the new decade will include ongoing upgrades to the Little Italy Dog Park, the installation of new streetlights and a Downtown Mobility plan which will include the re-conversion of bike lanes on W. Beech.
Residents can also expect a rise of new businesses such as the expansion of the Little Italy Food Hall. On Kettner Boulevard between Beech and Cedar Streets, developers Holland Partner Group and Bridge Housing Group will begin construction on a new 30-story residential tower including 295 market rate residential units and an 8-story building with 63 apartments for seniors. Also, Little Italy’s tallest tower is to break ground at India & W. Beech Street.
Throughout 2020, locals and visitors can enjoy many spectacular neighborhood events such as the celebration of the 36th Annual Mission Federal ArtWalk that will fill 16 blocks across Little Italy with unique artists, live music, dance performances and interactive art experiences. Not to mention the neighborhood’s popular annual summer events like Taste of Little Italy and Little Italy Summer Film Festival. Bringing it full circle to the end of the year holiday festivities such as the Little Italy Tree Lighting.
Stay tuned for more 2020 neighborhood updates. For the latest news on Little Italy, please follow us on Instagram @littleitalysd, Facebook @littleitalysd and Twitter @littleitalysd.