Big changes aimed at upgrading the economy and land use in Southeast San Diego have worked their way through City Hall over the past three years.
It's been since 1987 that the area underwent major rezoning, and the time for a new community plan to be implemented has finally come.
Back in the early '90s, NBC 7 stopped using the locator "Southeast San Diego" in favor of identifying its individual communities.
There was stigma attached to that.
But it's the city's official name for the larger community, and Southeast as a whole has been challenged by factors such as low incomes, high unemployment and high crime rates.
It's actually been deprived when it comes to modern city infrastructure.
But that's begun to change with the development of places like Market Creek Square, just minutes east of downtown on State Route 94 in Encanto, which will get a new community plan of its own.
The complex is commercial and community-oriented complex that's being surrounded by new housing projects.
The zoning changes are intended to spur more private investment in developing several thousand acres of raw land, to capitalize on hundreds of millions of dollars in consumer spending that goes outside the area.
We heard suspicions about "gentification" from residents who declined to on camera, telling us that longtime locals would be driven out by corporate interests and higher prices and rents that would follow.
But backers of the new community plans disagreed, saying those concerns are vastly overstated, and dismiss the long-erm benefits that would accrue
"I grew up here. A lot of folks have lived here during the bad times; they need to be able to stay during the good times,” argues Dwane Crenshaw, co-founder of Rise San Diego.
“Hopefully, this is the good times -- the beginning of more of this,” Crenshaw said in an interview Monday. “More of services and jobs right here where people need them. They can get on the Trolley, or walk or come home on their way from work and pick up dinner or go out and enjoy time in the neighborhood with their family and not have to travel outside of the community."
The city got nearly $3 million in state and regional grants to update the Southeast community plan over a nearly three-year period.
It's now being urged to tap federal and county funding sources to pay for more infrastructure projects.