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About Downtown
San Diego Culture
District/condo guide
About Us
Condos for sale

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The only Downtown
 San Diego real estate site
that you will need to visit.

We can help you research
 the condo complexes in Downtown San Diego -
both existing and planned.

Peter Toner -
 a 3rd generation
 real estate agent

in association with


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March 2002 - Lydia Lee

A COASTAL CLASSIC. The San Diego area offers the good life and the weather to enjoy it all year-round.

On the southernmost end of the California coast, San Diego is a magnet for millions of tourists, not to mention migrating monarch butterflies, gray whales and several hundred kinds of birds. A number of Homo sapiens are lucky enough to live there too, and enjoy the gorgeous weather year-round.


San Diego undoubtedly has some of the best of what nature and civilization have to offer. There are 70 miles of beaches to bask on or sail along, and the warm water lends itself to swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. Bal boa Park will sate a museum lover’s passion with its cluster of 15 museums. Children gravitate toward the pandas at the world-famous San Diego Zoo, the performing Orcas at Sea World and the hands-on activities at the city’s newest attraction, Lego Land.

More adventures are within easy reach. An hour’s drive east puts one in the otherworldly Anza-Borrego Desert, home to rare bighorn sheep that live among the rugged peaks and palm trees that are hidden in remote oases. In the winter, skiing is only a couple hours north at Big Bear. And just over the border, margaritas and vast shopping bazaars await in Tijuana, Mexico. 

San Diego has gone through a transformation in the last several years. With large Hispanic and Asian populations, the seventh-biggest city in the United States is ethnically diverse. And a thriving high-tech sector with 10 percent of the world’s biotech industry make this not just a vacationer’s paradise, but a vibrant business center. The success of local firms has created a boom in luxury housing. Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the sale of million-dollar homes all over the San Diego area. 

In the city center, high-rise apartment buildings like the Harbor Club offer stunning views of the bay and downtown and are within walking distance of the newly restored “Gas lamp” Victorian quarter with restaurants and clubs. “You’ll find empty-nesters who have moved downtown and are having the time of their lives’ shares Prudential California Realty’s Peter Toner, a Realtor who specializes in upscale San Diego properties. Construction is just beginning on Park Laurel on the Prado, which is in a prime location across from Balboa Park. The $120 million, two-tower development has apartments starting in the $800,OOOs. Coronado Islands a secluded peninsula that sits in the middle of the” San Diego Bay, is another exclusive area, with homes averaging $1.5 million. In the gated community of Coronado Cays, waterfront homes have private docks right outside their doors.  

Within easy access of the city are several popular and pricey coastal communities. Along the coast, a necklace of beach towns includes Solana Beach, Del Mar and the very swanky La Jolla. La Jolla translates as “the jewel” in Spanish, and the city is ‘famous for spectacular scenery, fine restaurants and upscale boutiques. “It’s the Riviera of the United States’ La Jolla, like Fairbanks Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe, has banned those “For Sale” signs—so tacky! — so potential buyers must make discreet inquiries through an agent. Expect homes in La Jolla to command a premium price; the average luxury home in La Jolla is $1.5 to $2.5 million. Those with an ocean view sell for even more. Since these coastal areas are mostly built-out, new homes are in short supply.

New-home buyers may have better luck in Carmel Valley, just inland. This area is known for its good schools and is popular with young families, says Kent, who specializes in coastal and central San Diego. “Every cul-de-sac has kids playing in it,” he says. The area has many new developments and is breaking into the luxury market with brand-new communities like Meadows Del Mar, with San Diego’s first Tom Fazio-designed golf course and custom homes starting at $1.6 million.

Also north of the city, the historical community and very prestigious address of Rancho Santa Fe features a fabulous golf course and horse trails.

At the turn of the century Rancho Santa Fe was a eucalyptus farm for the Santa Fe Railroad. Today, the groves maintain privacy among the 2-acre estates.

Many homes, which start at just over $1 million, feature traditional Spanish architecture, with red-tiled- roofs and stucco walls. In the same area is Fairbanks Ranch, where early Hollywood stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pick ford created a retreat. Developed into a gated community in the early 1-980s, Fairbanks Ranch’s homes start at around $1.5 million and go to $10 million.

Within Rancho Santa Fe’s desirable 92067 zip code, new developments of note include Cielo and The Bridges, a new golf-course community with an elaborate Tuscan-style clubhouse and custom villas ranging from $2 million to more than $4 million. A contrast to the rural feel of Rancho Santa Fe, Cielo has semi-custom homes starting at just over $1 million, offering a finished, refined look, with manicured lawns and outstanding views to the ocean.

East of Fairbanks Ranch, development has just broken ground at Santa Luz. a golf course community designed to have the feel of a village. The homes and gardens are tucked around a 12-acre village green and private Rees Jones golf course, with more than 20 miles of walking trails woven throughout the community. Santa Luz features 1 to 2 acre custom homesites, with fairway, canyon and ocean views, starting at $550,000.

With so much natural beauty, one might think that San Diego’s main attractions are the sun and surf. But residents know better. “Southern California is not the cultural desert that people think it is—we have incredible museums and theater, it’s not just Sea World,” laughs Toner. “I tell everyone who buys a house here that they have to get their spare bedroom ready very fast because all your friends are going to want to visit you!"


Call me toll free 800 957 3935 for information about
San Diego Downtown homes for sale

Copyright 2002
Peter Toner, San Diego Realtor

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Peter Laine-Toner DBA Peter Toner - licensed by State of California  -  DRE #01224844