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Cortez Hill Neighborhood Downtown
San Diego

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At one time, the El Cortez Hotel, now the El Cortez condos, dominated this downtown San Diego area and gave its name to Cortez Hill. The Cortez Hill is visible from all points of San Diego's central down-town and with the sparkling of lights from the El Cortez at night, illuminating the north end of San Diego's downtown area, it is a beautiful sight to behold. Cortez Hill offers a perfect location with 360* views, from Mexico on the south-east, to Point Loma Light House toward the west with the Pacific Ocean beyond, and the San Diego Bay sparkling to the south. Located north of Interstate 5 with Little Italy and the San Diego Bay to the immediate west and Interstate 163 to the east with the beautiful Balboa Park on the east side of the freeway, it occupies a prime area of San Diego.


The El Cortez opened as San Diego's finest furnished apartment / hotel in 1927 and became one of the first neighborhoods in the down-town area offering both commerce with the Gaslamp district, and leisure with Balboa Park located adjacent to the Cortez Hill area. When the El Cortez was first built the district quickly became the center of chic entertainment and elegant restaurants. The 1960 saw a drastic downturn in this district, decay and disrepair crept throughout and almost caused the El Cortez Hotel itself to be demolished. Following this period, some enthusiastic city's residents got together around the 1980s, pleading for the preservation of this historically important district to be saved. Fortunately, in 1990, the City Historic Site Board designated the area as "historic" and began to turn the Cortez Hill district around, starting with the restoration of the El Cortez Hotel to its original, magnificent state and paved the way to today's Cortez Hill with its modern urban living comforts. The El Cortez refurbish project, Cortez Blue, a K Hovnian project, Bosa Development's construction of Discovery, and upsacle luxury building Aria, bring Cortez Hill back into the beginning of its return to a desirable living and fashionable entertainment center.

Today's Cortez Hill District

Strolling through Cortez Hill's charming streets, one can not miss the charming The Tweet Park with its bright birdhouses and purple flowering Jacaranda trees - Cortez Hill neighborhood theme tree. Every plant in the colorful Tweet Park is specifically selected to support native birdlife. All these whimsical bird houses created by local artists are designed to be functional. In 2001 the Spice House Cafe still existed on the corner of 9th and Ash. Soon to become Aria Condominiums. Copley Symphony Hall (one of the few venues in the world that belongs to the orchestra playing in it) and the University Club are right around the corner. University Club has the most magnificent view as it sits atop Symphony Towers. It is one of the San Diego's premier business club designed to meet the needs of any busy business executive. The Club offers social and networking mixers, music and theatre events, wine tastings and much more. The Cortez Hill also has Balboa Park and the Embarcadero within walking distance, offering a plethora of interesting sights and places to visit. Its residents are a mix of professionals, artists, and young, urban families. Cortez Hill is truly a most ideal and most desirable area to make one's home, located on the northern end of downtown San Diego, America's Finest City!

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