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New Little Italy apartment complex hopes to change housing landscape

Posted at 6:47 AM, Sep 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-19 09:47:49-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Little Italy is one of San Diego’s most expensive neighborhoods, but a new development is betting on people’s willingness to downsize for a chance to live in a trendy area.

“The concept was to develop housing in San Diego that was at a certain price point,” said Matthew Segal, the architect behind a new development in Little Italy.

The apartment complex is called The Continental, and it is located on West Cedar Street, the entrance to Little Italy.

The complex has 42 studio units, with some units around 380 square feet and penthouses that are a bit larger. The units start at $1,550 to $1,850, and according to Segal, that’s about 25 percent less than the average rent for the area.

“Workforce housing will always be there. Those people need a place to live,” said Segal.

The cheap rent means no pool, no gym, shared laundry, and only 11 parking spots for the entire building.

Residents in the area are worried that the lack of parking at the complex will make the parking issue worse and crowd Little Italy.

The parking issue in Little Italy was so bad for Evan Tando that he decided to move his real estate business to Golden Hill. Now, he says, they have a parking lot, and plenty of street parking.

“The whole scene in Little Italy has grown over the years, so there is just not enough for people who live there, work there or are visiting,” said Tando.

He also said the parking situation drove clients away.

“They couldn’t find street parking, and they couldn’t find lots, people would end up driving around and end up just leaving,” Tando said.

His concerns aside, The Continental is already half full.

According to Segal, it’s about lifestyle. He said people who are willing to downsize, want to be in a walkable neighborhood, work nearby or don’t need to rely on a car, can live in Little Italy for less than what it costs at other buildings in the area.

“Our goal is to fill the void that's not being filled with all these full-blown projects and high-end buildings build around downtown,” said Segal.