San Diego

Business owners revved up about car-less living concept coming to Mission Hills

Business owners in the neighborhood worry about how the battle for street parking will impact their customers

NBC Universal, Inc.

An apartment complex in the Mission Hills community with no on-site parking is a welcome site for San Diego leaders who want to take the city car-less, but it's not an immediate hit with some people in the neighborhood.

The Sasan Apartments in Mission Hills will begin leasing their 54 units in the coming weeks.

“This property consists of 54 micro-apartments, and we also have commercial on the ground level as well as the rooftop,” developer Soheil Nakshab. said.

The car-less living concept is made possible because of the existing infrastructure in Central San Diego, according to Nakshab.

“SANDAG has been very good about creating dedicated bikeways throughout the city, but unfortunately, the bikeways don't have cyclists really utilizing them. We need to create housing in these urban core neighborhoods to where we can start activating this alternate use of transportation. That's one aspect of it. Other alternate forms of transportation include using the trolley line and bus lines,” Nakshab said.

The concept is rubbing some people in the community the wrong way.

“I’m disappointed for many reasons. One, it is limited parking, not to mention the color. It leaves something to be desired. It’s just going to take up all these spaces in Mission Hills and it is going to limit the availability,” Teri Clavell said.

Some business owners in the area are concerned about what the added competition for street parking will mean for their bottom line.

“It is going to be difficult. Parking in this town is already challenging and we hear a lot of complaints from customers. We do a lot of to-go business out here and people will be double-parked. It kind of makes a mess,” said Lauren Hodson, owner of Lefty’s Chicago Pizzeria.

People in the community are concerned about other sites being developed with higher-density housing, including the site of what is called the “Little Red Bungalow” at Fort Stockton & Goldfinch.

“That’s been there for so long – it was a pet shop for so long so the kids that grew up in this neighborhood have nostalgia about this building, and then the French lady. It was great having all these mom-and-pop shops and now we have big business,” Hodson said.

People in favor of adding higher-density housing in urban central San Diego communities stress its need due to the ongoing housing shortage.

San Diego is only producing one-third of the city’s future housing needs per year, according to the San Diego Housing Commission.

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