Homeowners in City Heights say the neighborhood isn't keeping up with the cost of living. While home prices are on the rise, development plans have come to a halt.
Paul Smith is trying to transform City Heights.
"They're still equating it to a high crime area or a place not worth investing in," said Smith.
Like everywhere else in San Diego, the cost of living there is going up.
"People are taking advantage of a housing shortage right now," said Smith. "So they can demand top dollar for their house. Because someone's willing to pay for it."
He's been remodeling his home for the past 18 months. Many of his neighbors are doing the same.
"We're seeing numbers in the $500's range now, $600, and I'd say probably five years ago you could buy a house for under $300,000."
But, he says businesses in the area aren't adapting to the change.
"It's constantly having to go over to North Park to look for services or South Park, outside the community."
While some shops are moving in, he says it's simply not enough.
"New businesses are seeming to move in, but there isn't a massive influx of investments like you're seeing in North Park and other areas," said Smith. "So we're seeing a lot of vacancies here."
Those businesses would help build an even stronger community.
"I don't always want to have to leave my neighborhood and to another area just to go get groceries, or go to a restaurant to eat," said Smith.
For him, it can't come soon enough.
"Change kind of is coming, but more needs to happen."
The city did work on a redevelopment project in City Heights several years ago. There are currently no plans for future projects in the area on the city's website.