San Diego broke ground on a new $9.5 million park in Otay Mesa Tuesday. The park will include everything from grass fields to a playground and basketball court.
The long-awaited Riviera del Sol Neighborhood Park should be completed by early 2023. At the same time, hundreds of new homes should be ready along Otay Mesa’s busy State Route 905 corridor.
“Booming with potential,” exclaimed real estate consultant Miguel Contreras describing the area.
Contreras is the founder of Reign West Collective in North Park. He said new homes in Otay Mesa could sell for 20% less than similar homes in communities to the north.
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“I think there will be a lot of demand for that area because the jobs are there,” explained Contreras.
Thousands of 18-wheelers run through Otay Mesa businesses every day. A new Amazon building dominates the horizon, the popular Cross Border Xpress Terminal is set to expand and new warehouses are waiting for tenants.
“This is one of the most dynamic parts of our city,” said Mayor Todd Gloria, who was at the park for the ceremonial groundbreaking.
“When we deliver projects like this one, I think we help make our case for why we need to build more homes that people can afford,” he said.
The key word is afford, which is hard for even the Mayor of San Diego.
“I would love to buy a home in my hometown, but the prices here are outrageous,” said the renter.
“Very challenging for buyers. Extremely challenging for buyers,” winced Contreras. “It’s crazy out there for buyers.”
Contreras said a lot of people are rushing into decisions to overpay on one of the few homes that come on the market.
“There is a lot of FOMO, fear of missing out, that’s really driving this,” he said.
He added building hundreds of homes in areas like Otay Mesa will help, but only a little.
“We can’t build them fast enough,” he admitted.
Tuesday, Mayor Gloria said he and other members of the San Diego Association of Governments conducted their first Regional Equitable Housing Subcommittee Meeting. Gloria said they discussed how every city and area in San Diego County can build its fair share of homes. He said that way the burden is shared by everyone and not dumped on one community.
“If we do that, not only do I think we can solve this problem, but we can do it in a way where no neighborhood is radically transformed,” said Gloria. “It’s the first time SANDAG’s ever had this conversation. I think it’s an important one.”
Contreras said home buyers also need to have a conversation with themselves. He strongly recommended patience and restraint. He said buyers should be willing to wait at least a year for the hope of a reasonable home. Contreras also said no one should ever spend outside their comfort zone.