Group Fighting Construction of 7-Story Hillcrest Residential Building

San Diego is facing a housing crisis

A group is fighting the construction of a seven-story residential tower in the heart of Hillcrest – right across the street from Whole Foods on 7th Avenue and Robinson.

The proposed project is called Hillcrest 111. It’s a 111-unit project with nine affordable housing units, 190 parking spaces and commercial space. Hillcrest 111 is seven stories along Robinson and steps down to 6 stories along 7th Avenue.

“Hillcrest 111 is just too much for a little street in Hillcrest,” said Tom Mullaney, executive director of Uptown United, the group opposing the project. Uptown United consists of community members and businesses in the nearby area.

Mullaney argues the building is too bulky and obstructs the views for people living across the street.

“This neighborhood has beautiful, classic homes and we want to retain some of that charm,” Mullaney said.

Uptown United filed an appeal with the City of San Diego, arguing Hillcrest 111 significantly impacts the community character, aesthetics, traffic and noise, among other things.

The developer Greystar says they’ve modified their plan to incorporate the input from the community. Greystar says the concessions made and presented during the second presentation were well received. However Uptown United says those concessions aren’t going far enough.

The resistance to build Hillcrest 111 comes at a time when San Diego is facing a housing crisis. Housing prices in San Diego are some of the highest across the country and the county is running out of places to build.

“The only solution is to build more housing,” said Rachel Laing, vice president of the Yimby Democrats of San Diego County.

Developers are running out of space to build – there’s Camp Pendleton to the north, Mexico to the south, the ocean to the west and mountains to the east.

“Everybody realizes there’s an affordable housing crisis. Everybody will tell you that,” said Laing. But she continues, there’s a reluctance from people to step up and make a change.

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