I wanted to share this great story about an flipping houses in a up and coming neighborhood this Story was presented by Voice of San Diego.
A popsicle vendor pushed his cart past a gutted two-story house on Island Avenue in Sherman Heights. For just a moment as he passed, the familiar tinkle of his bells drowned out another sound, one that’s become increasingly common in this Latino neighborhood east of downtown: a nail gun’s pop pop pop.
On the back porch of the house, Lannon Turowski was reinforcing decayed wooden beams with crisp two-by-fours. He’s been working on the house “weekend warrior-style” since February, trying to restore it and get it ready to sell by May.
He moved to California two years ago from Cedarburg, Wis. He’s also considering buying out his friend’s half of the house (they went in on it together last year) and moving in there himself.
“You can go up on the balcony and see the Coronado Bridge on one side and Petco Park on the other side. You can’t get that anywhere else,” he said. “My real estate agent said, ‘I’m telling you, Sherman Heights is the last affordable housing left in San Diego.’”
It is also one of the few neighborhoods in San Diego whose white population has increased in the last 10 years. Since 2000, in the western portion of Sherman Heights closer to downtown, Latinos have decreased from 83 percent to 70 percent of the neighborhood’s population, according to Census data. The percentage of the white population has doubled, from 10 percent to 20 percent. (As illustrated in the graphic below, the darker the purple, the more the white population grew.)
In California, San Diego County and the city, communities have overwhelmingly experienced growth in their Latino populations. Ironically but perhaps not surprisingly, in Sherman Heights and many Latino neighborhoods surrounding downtown, the opposite is true. The downtown development boom of the last decade and its inland crawl through East Village, punctuated by the construction of Petco Park, is beginning to alter the historic and symbolic centers of San Diego’s Mexican community.
The signs of that shift are visible on nearly every residential block in Sherman Heights, where one after another, aging and faded Craftsman or Victorian homes are being gutted and restored. They’re being converted from multi-family properties — once rented by Latinos — back into single-family homes. At least five full-scale restorations were underway within three blocks of Turowski’s house this week.
Turowski is converting his house from the rented duplex it once was back into a single-family home. (continue reading…)