Hillcrest | San Diego Real Estate
San Diego Real Estate


The community of Hillcrest is located northwest of Balboa Park in San Diego, California, USA.

Hillcrest is next Bankers Hill with Balboa Park to the south, University Heights to the north, Mission Hills in the northwest, and North Park in the east part of Hillcrest. This community belongs the Uptown planned community area, that is made up of  Hillcrest, University Heights, Park West, Mission Hills, and Bankers Hill.

Mary Kearney got a hold of the deed from the town for the land that later became Hillcrest in 1870.  Arnold and D. Choate, two real estate buidlers, acquired that land .  In 1871 a wealthy railroad tycoon named George Hill,  purchased the land.  In 1910 developers started building in the land and the area was established by 1920. In the 1920s and 30’s the community was a suburb shopping part of downtown San Diego.

This neighborhood is an older community that has been through many changes.  Many roads lines with trees. Craftsman homes and Mid Century modern apartment buildings surround Hillcrest.

The Hillcrest community is nearby Route 163 by  Washington Street, University Ave. and Robinson Avenue exits. Washington Street and  University Avenue are the main roads driven in Hillcrest,  Sixth, Fourth and Fifth Avenues take you to this wonderful community from Downtown San Diego through Bankers Hill and Park West.

The Mission Hills Presidio Park in Old Town is down the hill, and is a part of San Diego history. Originally, the neighborhood was a chaparral covered mesa area. The Kumeyaay natives lived in large sum of villages spread around San Diego regions. The Spanish inquisition transported the very first of twentynine missions in California establishing the nearby Mission in San Diego .

The commercial area of Hillcrest is known for its many great restaurants.  Nearby Balboa Park gives recreational and cultural chances to the local residents. UCSD Medical Center and Scripps Mercy Hospital are located in Hillcrest.

Since 1921 the Better Business Association has been established in Hillcrest, it became a city accepted Business Improvement District in 1984. With other activities, it sponsors the annual “Toast to Hillcrest,” which offers food and drink free samples from over 20 bars and restaurants locally.

Hillcrest is well known for its open diversity and locally owned shops, including clubs, cafes, bars, restaurants, trendy stores, among other specialty shops. Hillcrest has a high population, reflecting to other communities in San Diego, it has a large active gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, also known as LGBT.

The San Diego Gay Pride is a on a year festival for the gay,  lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in July. A parade, then a two day carnival in Balboa Park. It is the biggest city event in the city of San Diego.  CityFest is an once a year street carnival that includes food, live music, a beer garden and street vendors, entertainment, art.  Other events in the neighborhood is a once a week farmers market located in the local DMV.

In the 1970s gays and lesbians started moving to established homes, businesses, and started organizations in the community.  In 1974, Protests in the city’s bean to refuse a parade permit, over 200 gays and lesbian inviduals protested by walking the streets of downtown for the first time ever.  In 1975, The first permit was granted and the city finally permitted the gay pride parade.  In 1980, The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center, also known as the Center, moved its offices to Hillcrest.  In 1984, The Hillcrest Business Association, was formed.  In 1985, The Hillcrest Business Association hosted the first CityFest in the community. In 1994,  A new pedestrian bridge in Vermont Street was finished. The stretch of it, shows off public art done by local artist,  the cost was $1.2 million for completion of the bridge.  Mercy Gardens, also known as the Sisters of Mercy Convent, which used to home nuns from 1926-1990 .  Mercy Gardens was remodeled for use by the HIV positive community in 2001.

The famous Hillcrest lighted sign located in University and Fifth Avenue was put up in 1940, it was given by the Hillcrest Women’s Assoc. The sign was taken down for many years and put back up restored back to its prime in 1984.  After WWII, the neighborhood was left with older buildings and residents.

The 100th Anniversary celebration cake was served to the locals, making the community of Hillcrest, first one hundred years of age celebration. There were Hillcrest 100th Anniversary activities during the whole year.

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