Neighborhoods: October 2008 Archives

This is part of a series on the neighborhoods of the area I primarily work, which includes La Mesa, San Carlos, El Cajon and Santee. For this one, we're in the northwest part of La Mesa, north of Maryland Avenue Neighborhood. The Lake Murray neighborhood is vaguely teardrop shaped, with the "point" headed south. It begins right at Baltimore and Aztec, then Lake Murray Boulevard and El Paso north right to the San Diego City Limits, and west to the reservoir. The neighborhood north of it in San Diego city is similar. The Wellesley Street neighborhood is mostly a little older.

Sunset Park Little League Field
Sunset Park field

Lake Murray is a mixed professions neighborhood. You will find everything from young professionals starting out to older working class retirees here. The main commercial area is around the intersection of Lake Murray Boulevard and Baltimore Drive, with extensions south on Baltimore Drive and north-easterly along Lake Murray Boulevard.

Mall at Lake Murray and Baltimore:
B&LM Strip mall

The Lake Murray was area was basically built in one extended period, starting in the early 1960s and stretching to the late 1970s. Physically, the houses are mostly single story three to four bedroom 1.75 bath houses from around 1500 square feet going up from there to maybe 2000 square feet, sitting on lots of anywhere from 5000 square feet up to maybe 7000. The lots are smaller, and the houses bigger, than in many parts of La Mesa. Unusually for La Mesa, great views are comparatively rare - the terrain is lightly rolling, and the majority of lots don't look up or down at much of anything, but there are exceptions. The construction is pretty much all wood frames and stucco on concrete foundations - I can't think of any exceptions off the top of my head. Originally, they were all cookie cutter tract housing, but there has been some differentiation in the last thirty to forty years as people built additions and such. There are significant concentrations of high density housing along Baltimore Drive and Cowles Mountain Boulevard just north of Lake Murray Boulevard, as well as Lake Park Drive between them - right where people are likely to notice it - but the rest of the neighborhood is pretty much single family residences.

Internal view of neighborhood on Cowles Mountain Blvd:
Cowles Mtn 1

As of this writing, asking prices in the neighborhood start at about $130,000 for condos and PUDs up to $350,000, while single family detached properties vary from $400,000 to $600,000, with most being towards the lower end of that range. Even with the people who are in distress situations, there are a total of 16 condos and PUDs, but only 3 single family residences for sale in the neighborhood. There generally is not a lot of turnover in this neighborhood.

Top of El Paso, looking East, one of the good views in the neighborhood
El Paso hill east

The neighborhood elementary school is Maryland Avenue School. Contrary to what many people try to tell me, the Middle School is La Mesa Middle School (formerly La Mesa Junior High) an SDSU partnership school, and the high school is Helix Charter (the boundary between Helix and Grossmont is closer to Jackson Drive than Interstate 8). Helix, in particular, has a long record of academic achievement. Here's the most recent account Helix Accountability Report Card

Maryland Avenue School
Maryland Ave school 2

La Mesa Middle School, an SDSU partnership school
Picture 012

The closest community college is Grossmont, the closest four year college is San Diego State University, which is mostly closer as far as this neighborhood is concerned.

Looking north on Baltimore to the San Diego City Limits
Baltimore north

The Lake Murray neighborhood is a pretty nice place to live. Transportation access is pretty good. Interstate 8 can be accessed via Lake Murray Boulevard and Fletcher Parkway via Baltimore Drive, and CA 125 is also easy to get to. Lake Murray and Baltimore are both bus feeder routes, and the San Diego Trolley is just south of Interstate 8 with a stop just east of Lake Murray, as well as at Grossmont Center. You have your choice of several major supermarkets within a mile or so. You can get to Mission Valley in fifteen minutes, downtown about twenty, door to door. Major shopping centers are found at Grossmont Center (Target, Wal-Mart, Macy's, Theaters and dining), Parkway Plaza (Sears) and College Grove (WalMart, Sam's Club). There is also a major commercial strip along Fletcher Parkway between Interstate 8 and Grossmont Center.

Looking down on the reservoir itself from Baltimore Drive
Lake Murray from Balt

If you'd like to talk more about Lake Murray or any other neighborhood of La Mesa, Contact me. I will be happy to discuss which neighborhoods might be right for you, or the marketing of your current property for an advantageous sale.

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Aztec Park


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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Neighborhoods category from October 2008.

Neighborhoods: September 2008 is the previous archive.

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