Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Why change, La Mesa?

Developer describes future vision of the Village

Aaron Dean sees the Cohns' Beau Bo venture as a catalyst for beneficial development in La Mesa Village.
Aaron Dean sees the Cohns' Beau Bo venture as a catalyst for beneficial development in La Mesa Village.

Change continues in the La Mesa area known as the Village or downtown. One highly visible part of this change was the sometimes-maligned Streetscape project, after which several businesses departed or will soon do so.

In their places, new businesses and developments have and are coming into the area, some identifiable by the fencing, green screening, and “coming soon” signs noticed when driving along La Mesa Boulevard between Acacia and Allison avenues.

Aaron Dean, self-described as “an old La Mesa person” by virtue of his family moving into the area in the 1970s, has four projects under development in the Village: Boulevard Noodles (Asian food); La Mesa 8, a ground-floor bakery and eight condo units in two stories above the bakery (the first ground-up development in La Mesa in 23 years); Sheldon’s Service Station, a coffee shop with outdoor seating that offers beer and wine later in the day; and the Depot Springs Soda Company, manufacturing “hop-infused, all-natural sodas” and including a small storefront selling the soda, ice cream, and confections.

Dean is also known for the Depot Springs Brewery, Table 1888, and Platform 1888, projects that are under construction on Fletcher Parkway, a little more than three miles from the Village.

When asked "why La Mesa?" for all of these ventures, Dean said the region has the potential to be a “real neighborhood” and the government, including the mayor and new development director, are very pro-growth.

Dean cited other ventures such as Craft Kitchen, the Hills, Beau Bo, Helix Brewing, and Bolt Brewery that have recently come to this small East County city.

When asked about change, Dean said, “A lot of people get scared when you use the word ‘change.’” He said that a lot of residents have been in the area since the '70s and, “When you say 'change' to them, it freaks them out a little bit. They picture high-rises. They picture traffic. They picture the wrong kind of people in their minds, whatever that may be.

"When I picture change…this area really needs a younger base. Things geared towards younger people, like schools. Younger folks need to move in to feed students into the schools.... The change people are looking for isn’t, 'Let’s tear up La Mesa Boulevard and put up 20-story buildings.' I think the change people want is that Little Italy feel. Bring back the arts. [Though] some businesses here don’t fit the future.”

What about the change in character? Many departing and departed shops were involved with arts, crafts, and antiques.

According to Dean, most locations that have successful art businesses have a great culinary presence. “The art places will do better if there are more people on the street eating and drinking.”

When asked about the service businesses on La Mesa Boulevard, Dean said, “I’ll get yelled at by my real estate friends, but the stores that do need to move off the main street are the escrow offices and the real estate offices.”

He suggested those businesses need to move a block off the main street so that a balance can be realized, in what he described as a "10-10-10" approach: 10 restaurants, 10 unique businesses...and 10 from another category he could not recall.

Dean advocates for at least 10 good places to eat that are open for lunch and dinner. That will drive the businesses, he said.

Dean compared what is occurring in La Mesa with the Gaslamp District in 1995, with Croce’s and the Cohns invigorating the sketchy area.

“I don’t think anyone would complain about the transition from the types of stores that were there to what it is now.”

Dean forecasts that property owners will realize “that instead of $800 a month for a 1000-square-foot space, they can now get $3000 or $4000 for that space. That is where you will see the restaurants and more unique businesses come in.”

Dean expressed strong support for local events such as the weekly car show and Oktoberfest. He said Oktoberfest should be reworked, but not lost because, “it brings a ton of attention to La Mesa and if worked right can be a spectacular event for the community.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Polo G and Chief Keef, Hallo-Wine Fall Festival, Cinema Under the Stars: The Graduate

Events October 22-October 25, 2020
Next Article

California Democratic Party reaps Sempra cash windfall

Utility spreads political money while fighting to keep San Diego power monopoly
Aaron Dean sees the Cohns' Beau Bo venture as a catalyst for beneficial development in La Mesa Village.
Aaron Dean sees the Cohns' Beau Bo venture as a catalyst for beneficial development in La Mesa Village.

Change continues in the La Mesa area known as the Village or downtown. One highly visible part of this change was the sometimes-maligned Streetscape project, after which several businesses departed or will soon do so.

In their places, new businesses and developments have and are coming into the area, some identifiable by the fencing, green screening, and “coming soon” signs noticed when driving along La Mesa Boulevard between Acacia and Allison avenues.

Aaron Dean, self-described as “an old La Mesa person” by virtue of his family moving into the area in the 1970s, has four projects under development in the Village: Boulevard Noodles (Asian food); La Mesa 8, a ground-floor bakery and eight condo units in two stories above the bakery (the first ground-up development in La Mesa in 23 years); Sheldon’s Service Station, a coffee shop with outdoor seating that offers beer and wine later in the day; and the Depot Springs Soda Company, manufacturing “hop-infused, all-natural sodas” and including a small storefront selling the soda, ice cream, and confections.

Dean is also known for the Depot Springs Brewery, Table 1888, and Platform 1888, projects that are under construction on Fletcher Parkway, a little more than three miles from the Village.

When asked "why La Mesa?" for all of these ventures, Dean said the region has the potential to be a “real neighborhood” and the government, including the mayor and new development director, are very pro-growth.

Dean cited other ventures such as Craft Kitchen, the Hills, Beau Bo, Helix Brewing, and Bolt Brewery that have recently come to this small East County city.

When asked about change, Dean said, “A lot of people get scared when you use the word ‘change.’” He said that a lot of residents have been in the area since the '70s and, “When you say 'change' to them, it freaks them out a little bit. They picture high-rises. They picture traffic. They picture the wrong kind of people in their minds, whatever that may be.

"When I picture change…this area really needs a younger base. Things geared towards younger people, like schools. Younger folks need to move in to feed students into the schools.... The change people are looking for isn’t, 'Let’s tear up La Mesa Boulevard and put up 20-story buildings.' I think the change people want is that Little Italy feel. Bring back the arts. [Though] some businesses here don’t fit the future.”

What about the change in character? Many departing and departed shops were involved with arts, crafts, and antiques.

According to Dean, most locations that have successful art businesses have a great culinary presence. “The art places will do better if there are more people on the street eating and drinking.”

When asked about the service businesses on La Mesa Boulevard, Dean said, “I’ll get yelled at by my real estate friends, but the stores that do need to move off the main street are the escrow offices and the real estate offices.”

He suggested those businesses need to move a block off the main street so that a balance can be realized, in what he described as a "10-10-10" approach: 10 restaurants, 10 unique businesses...and 10 from another category he could not recall.

Dean advocates for at least 10 good places to eat that are open for lunch and dinner. That will drive the businesses, he said.

Dean compared what is occurring in La Mesa with the Gaslamp District in 1995, with Croce’s and the Cohns invigorating the sketchy area.

“I don’t think anyone would complain about the transition from the types of stores that were there to what it is now.”

Dean forecasts that property owners will realize “that instead of $800 a month for a 1000-square-foot space, they can now get $3000 or $4000 for that space. That is where you will see the restaurants and more unique businesses come in.”

Dean expressed strong support for local events such as the weekly car show and Oktoberfest. He said Oktoberfest should be reworked, but not lost because, “it brings a ton of attention to La Mesa and if worked right can be a spectacular event for the community.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Grant's Market becomes Grant's Coffee Room

South Park neighborhood mainstay shifts focus from market to all day hangout
Next Article

Reader writers' music picks, San Diego's history of punk, singer bred in TJ's Zona Norte

FM radio survey, local jazz greats, tribute to Mr. Lennon
Comments
4

La Mesa needs to fix Spring Street. It is a traffic nightmare and time sink.

June 25, 2016

It seems that the majority of Mr. Deans development is on La Mesa Blvd between Spring and Allison/4th. Does he have any thoughts about La Mesa Blvd between University and Spring? I believe that there is opportunity there as well. Replacing commercial $800 rental space with $3,000 rental space will drive up the prices that the "new" businesses will charge. If, as he predicts, the demand for space goes up the Real Estate/Escrow offices will move. And, I bet he hates the idea of Goodwill being a major tenant.

June 26, 2016

FYI: I AM an old La Mesa person. I was born in the La Mesa Hospital (La Mesa Blvd. at Glen St.) La Mesa was not built nor designed for the heavy traffic that now flows through. Let's get some more SUV's on those winding streets! If you like parking meters, you'll LOVE "The Village."

  1. No one really cares about "the village." City officials want tax revenue, and any developer that will offer more. Lets park a delivery truck RIGHT HERE. Anyone see any kids playing around "The Village?"

  2. La Mesa is used as a career stop for beginning city planners and money-driven contractors. "The Village" : Right. Where is the candy store? The printer? The jeweler? The bakery? The hardware store? Toy store? Sporting goods store? Kid's clothing store? Woman's fashions? Men's store (Highlander, anyone)? Barber? Grocer? Deli? Green grocer? Flower store? Theater? "The Village" has been erased.

  3. Erased was the baseball field and park that used to be north of the fire station. That WAS nice. Sun Valley Golf WAS nice, before the politicians turned off the water. Look at the mess around Center Street; center of what? The EDCO dump in the middle of town? Grossmont Center WAS nice- out of the way, lots of tax revenue. We get low income housing where the community Christmas tree used to be. Village? How is that pronounced? T-R-O-L-L-Y, say "village"-- funny, both are two syllables and synonyms.

  4. "The Village" street corners are a disaster. Look how many are scored with tire marks from being run over. The traffic flow is a disaster around the central railroad track area, up to the mortuary. One used to be able to get around town by crossing the tracks. Look from a satellite view. Driving and parking used to be symbiotic.

  5. Oh... "the village" on El Cajon Blvd? Isn't that the village, too? How does one spell EYESORE?

I'm rambling like an old person. Get rid of the intern planners. They see a puffed up résumé, NOT a village. To rephrase an old Beach Boys song, "Pack 'em in. Pack 'em in. Buddy goin' to shut you down." Hey visitors: bloom where you were planted.. not here.

June 27, 2016

There is a really nice "old style" barber shop in the Village.

June 28, 2016

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close