Parking crunch could get worse, then get better

San Diego's downtown parking crunch could get worse, then get better.

Developers are planning massive projects on downtown parking lots that already fill up fast during Padre games and for downtown nightlife. 

On the edge of Little Italy, developer Bomel is planning to take almost an entire square block of parking at Ash and Columbia, and build a hotel and hundreds of condos. Across downtown, Cisterra is planning a Whole Foods market and Ritz Carlton tower on what's now a surface lot on 8th and Market. 

Both projects would create thousands of jobs and give San Diego some much needed housing.

"It's good, me being a real estate agent," said downtown resident Leyla Kaya, who has missed plane flights because of the parking crunch downtown. "But... we don't want it where people can't access it anymore."

Jason Wood, of Cisterra, said the Ritz Carlton project calls for a 250 spot public parking garage. The project is now tied up in litigation, but it would take nearly three years to build once that's settled. That's three years before the garage opens, and without that prime surface lot. 

Meanwhile, San Diegan R.C. Lebrun says he sees prices going up. He paid $10 for 10 hours to park early in the morning. 

"It's going to be $25, I assume," he said, "instead of $10."

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