Renaissance on Voltaire Street?

by on February 11, 2019 · 32 comments

in Ocean Beach

Is there a renaissance happening on Voltaire Street right now? There’s a bunch of new businesses that appear to bring a sense of renewal on this major east-west boulevard that connects Ocean Beach and Point Loma.

Two new eateries – both Italian – are happening on “upper Voltaire” – on the other side of Catalina from OB. Check them out.

Leucadia Pizza Opens

A new pizzeria – Leucadia Pizza Kitchen has opened at 4161 Voltaire Street (where the salad in a jar place was previously, as was another pizza franchise).

With 3 other locations – (none actually in Leucadia) – they offer appetizers, soups, salads, desserts, pizzas of course and over a dozen entrees. They also have glutin-free pizzas and seafood pizzas.

The guys at the counter told me they’ve been opened since October.


“Super High-End” Italian, Cesarina, Opens This Week

Right next door, is another Italian restaurant opening, and this one, as I was told by Nick, is “super high-end” but with reasonable prices. It’s where To the Point had settled in for years.

This new eatery is a ristorante – pastificio – which means they’ll make fresh pasta on siteNick said on last Friday, Feb. 8, they were opening on Monday, the 11th. They had a lot still to accomplish and I hope they made their schedules.

Empty Bean and Tea Space

Yet to remind us there’s not a renewal for some, the former Bean & Tea coffee house at Famosa is still without an occupant.

Law Office

There also appears to be a new law office across from the new Italian restaurants on Voltaire.

New 24-Unit Mixed-Use Project Going In

Up Voltaire towards the Point Loma Library, there’s a massive, gaping hole where a number of fringe businesses once stood – including the Sunshine which made great sandwiches.

In their stead is a huge mixed-use development being built which will include 24 residential units. Called “Nimitz Crossing”, it will certainly make crossing Nimitz more of a challenge. If there’s any renaissance going on, this project has to be included.

The property owners are a couple of local boys – now in their 70s, Flocke and Avoyer, who I went to Point Loma High with in the 1960s..

Petra de Luna Shop

Next door to ABC Liquor is a brand new storefront, called Petra de Luna. Definitely a pleasant place to visit and shop at 4689 Voltaire, it’s actually a consignment store, Allison told me, filling in for owner Yolanda Brionez.

In perhaps the tiniest commercial space in all OB (outside those 2 mall arcades), maintaining a business in this space has certainly been a challenge over the years.

There’s been half a dozen enterprises open at that location over the last decade or so. We hope this very interesting shop survives.

“Good Vibes” Barber Shop

Also gracing Voltaire Street is a new barber shop, Good Vibes, which I heard from one contact at OBMA is a really good, men’s barber. It’s where a realty business store once inhabited the space, and next door to the OB Green Store’s former storefront. (The Green Store has moved across the street, but has not opened yet.)

A lit sign said, “Open” but the lock on the door said something else. And no one was inside, and the hours were not posted.

We don’t know whether 2 new Italian restaurants, a hippie barber shop, a new consignment storefront, a new law office and a huge new mixed-use project being built constitute a “Renaissance”, but there is capital moving onto the street and a number of new employees working in the businesses that have opened up.

Ultimately, the evidence is inconclusive. More has to happen before the street named after a French writer and philosopher can witness such a spectacular change.


{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

ZZ February 11, 2019 at 1:52 pm

28 townhouses are now for sale in the Upper Voltaire project, priced between 620 and 850. There are also included 5 ground floor commercial condos, no public pricing yet.

I believe construction was completed about three months ago. So far, it doesn’t look like any of them have sold yet, but four are listed as “reserved” which probably means someone has put down a deposit but not closed yet.

The pricing looks pretty reasonable to me.


Tyler February 12, 2019 at 2:06 pm

Only 5 of them on still on the market….


Judy Swink February 12, 2019 at 6:12 pm

They put in the street trees (Tulip trees) yesterday. I’m sorry they’re not the Crepe Myrtle shown in the video. I live across Nimitz in Sea Colony so will enjoy seeing the landscaping on that side fill in after years of a very unpleasing vista. I think I’ll walk down and see if I can see some units.


Judy Swink February 12, 2019 at 6:14 pm

I’m hoping that they will put in the Jacarandas above Nimitz, as shown in the video.


Vern February 11, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Wonder if Upper Voltaire was at the upper end of the Quieter Homes Program list? That place is gonna be loud come 2023 when Terminal One is pumping out another 800 flights per week. Same for the “al fresco” dining at the “super high-end” Italian restaurant. Ah, more plane noise and the accompanying plane soot.


bobo February 12, 2019 at 9:43 am

Hey Vern, I’ll provide a counter to that argument with the fact that the new generation of aircraft are much much more quiet on takeoff and burn much less fuel. That includes the Southwest Airlines B737-MAX variants which will be using the new airport expansion. If you keep your eyes open for those or the Hawaiian Airlines A320-NEO or A33o, you’ll hear the difference.


Vern February 12, 2019 at 11:46 am

Hi bobo. Darn thing is that once Terminal One is complete, departures every 1.5 minutes for eighteen straight hours at altitudes of 1000′-2000′ ASL (3 miles from Lindbergh, no less) will be a heck of a racket. Each flight represents a single noise event with attack, sustain and decay. String each 32 second-long noise event together and you get the din you’d expect. The spine of PL is at or above 200′ ASL.
The inverse square law is the driver here. The lower those planes are the louder their noise (the FAA allows the flights 1000′ overhead).
Remember that when we build higher, remove trees & flora, we end up with far more reflective surfaces and far less environmental attenuation. All those new walls are not part of FAA noise modeling. Nor part of the AA’s noise modeling. Lots of building materials transmit sound. Sound travels. Airplanes make noise. (“Noise is unwanted sound judged to be unpleasant, loud or disruptive to hearing.”).

Now let’s not get started on the several hundred percent increase in aborted landings that blow through fuel like there’s no tomorrow. So much for fuel savings, eh?


Judy Swink February 12, 2019 at 7:14 pm

I doubt that the Quieter Home Program will be applied to new construction since my understanding is that the intention is to retrofit existing, older residences impacted by flights. I would expect the Upper Voltaire developer of ‘luxury homes’ would put in double- or triple-pane windows as a matter of course these days – a good question for potential buyers to ask.


Vern February 15, 2019 at 12:27 pm

As many are finding out, with the new flight paths, the lower climb rate and climb angles and, frankly, increases operations, dual and triple pane windows are no match for lower altitude departures.


Debbie February 15, 2019 at 12:56 pm

FYI, actually you would think the older homes would have priority but that is not necessarily the case. The program is actually doing homes that do not require a historical review before the older homes based. Why? I do not know.

I cannot confirm this is for every street but I am aware of a few such circumstances.


ZZ February 11, 2019 at 2:47 pm

Some info on 92107 from Zillow:

Median home price: $973,100
Rent of median home: $3356 (estimate of rental price for the median home)
Median rental price $2800 (reflects the fact that rental stock averages smaller than owner occupied)

Bottom of the 92107 market: Oct 2011, median home price was $480,200.

School quality (out of 10)
OB Elementary 9
Correia Middle 8
PL High 8


Michael February 11, 2019 at 8:10 pm

Z. Can you elaborate on the owner occupied rental disparity?


ZZ February 11, 2019 at 9:03 pm

$3356 is the estimated rent of the median 92107 home (which is worth $973,100 to buy).

$2800 is the median of actual rental listings that Zillow collects.

The reason the second number is lower is the average rental is smaller than the average of all properties.

Another way to look at it is:
$3356 rents the average home in OB
$2800 rents the average rental home in OB


Vern February 12, 2019 at 7:37 am

San Diego
Income needed: $69,307
50 percent for necessities: $34,654
30 percent for discretionary spending: $20,792
20 percent for savings: $13,861
San Diego residents earn a median of $65,753, which is $3,554 less than what they need to earn to comfortably manage their finances with a 50-30-20 budget.

Upper Voltaire $620k purchase, 20% down ($124K), 30 years at 4.125% – $2877/mo base.

Investors will buy these and convert to Airbnb, or VBRO?


Vern February 12, 2019 at 8:52 am

correction… VRBO…


ZZ February 12, 2019 at 12:07 pm

I think they’ll sell more as starter homes and low-maintenance boomer-downsizing homes. How many single older people and empty nest couples have big houses in PL that require constant repairs and yard work?

$2877 sounds like a lot, but you’ll get about $800 of that back off your taxes. And some of the remaining amount does to principal. So far someone currently renting a 2 bed / 2 bath for $2500, this works out to a pretty big savings over renting. The really hard part is saving up the down payment. However, you don’t need to do 20%. That is ideal, but plenty of good 5% down options.


Vern February 12, 2019 at 2:07 pm

Points well taken and the proximity to Peace Pies is attractive, but $2877 (at the low end), plus HOA, and all the other costs, tacked on to student debt… sure does seem like a good chunk o’ dough to some, but, perhaps, not others. Note sure, but town-homes get taxed at a different rate than a condo and most certainly differently than single family.

My guess is that these sell at a reduced rate after seeing that only a few have been “reserved” as of 02.12.19 and having been advertised for over a year. Nevertheless, another new place to “nest” piles of Bird scooters.


Frank Gormlie February 11, 2019 at 8:23 pm

First Look: Cesarina – A trio of highly Italian men open a fresh pasta oasis in Point Loma:


Frank Gormlie February 12, 2019 at 1:39 pm

The OB Rag just received an email about a new high-end salon on Voltaire:

” I just saw your article about the revitalization of upper Voltaire. I just opened up a high end salon on Voltaire as well. I would love for you to stop by and take a look. Here are some pictures below. I think this will help spruce up the neighborhood. It’s 3683 Voltaire street. — Thanks, Bergé “


Ali February 12, 2019 at 5:16 pm

as someone who lives in this neighborhood, I’m worried that all these new developments and “high end” businesses are going to price me out of my apartment.

my rent was already raised by 100$ recently (although no repairs or renovations have been done at all) and I’m sure it will increase again soon.

I’d rather see affordable restaurants, affordable housing, and a sustainable community than seeing people get priced out of the neighborhood like so many long time OB residents are struggling with.


Frank Gormlie February 12, 2019 at 7:51 pm

Can’t agree with you more Ali. Anybody pressuring this new project to include affordable units? Or did the developers pay into that nebulous fund which allows trees to be planted in Iceland?


Eric February 13, 2019 at 7:38 pm

Not saying a $100 is to much with no repairs or upgrades but as a small property owner the property taxes went up and deductions were taken away, insurance increased quite a bit they say because of the fires throughout the state and the cost utilities continue to climb. Maintenance, management and repairs haven’t gotten any cheaper either which is ongoing because of the destructive salt air. Another perspective.


Paul Webb February 17, 2019 at 11:04 am

Just to clarify what the Quieter Home Program will/won’t do. QHP only applies to homes constructed before a certain year (which I can’t recall off the top of my head). After changes to the State of California uniform building code, all newly constructed units were deemed “compliant” with the state regulations regarding noise problem airports (including SDIA). Any new construction incorporating the required construction techniques/materials, which is to say any new construction, would not qualify for QHP.

Of course, the hole in this is that there is no testing of new construction to see if the noise reduction the new building codes are meant to provide actually reduces noise and meets the noise goals. As I said above, they are “deemed” to result in the required noise reduction. No one actually knows whether the noise reduction goals are met.


Vern February 17, 2019 at 1:01 pm

The “Quieter Home Program” applies to all homes within the program boundary with an average interior noise of 45 decibels or higher may be eligible for the Program.

Multi-family and condo buildings are eligible, regardless of the number of units in the building and/or complex. All tenant occupied properties are treated in the same manner as owner occupied properties.

The “Quieter Home Program” priority is given to homes within the greatest noise impacted areas and to residents who have owned the homes in these areas the longest. The QHP does not favor owner occupied vs. non-owner occupied properties.

QHP does not distinguish between homes constructed before or after a certain year.

The “Quieter Home Program” does not improve quality of life for the impacted communities.


Debbie February 17, 2019 at 5:31 pm

“QHP does not distinguish between homes constructed before or after a certain year.”

Where did you get this information from?


Peter from South O February 18, 2019 at 6:28 am
Debbie February 18, 2019 at 7:19 am

Oh, ok so if it’s in writing then it’s true?

Trust the SD Airport Authority? Ok!

I don’t need to debate this but I can say that I KNOW people who have been told why they were put ahead of others due to the AGE of their dwelling and the need NOT to go through the historic process.

Don’t believe no worries on this end … just saying.


Vern February 18, 2019 at 5:09 pm

Debbie, For what it’s worth, I don’t think anyone trusts SDIA’s Airport Authority.


Paul Webb February 19, 2019 at 4:36 pm

What Vern is saying is not correct. Again, to clarify what I was saying earlier. After October 1, 1998 the new statewide building codes required that sound insulation, dual pane windows and other construction methods be utilized in all new construction. Any home, condo or apartment built after that date is not eligible for the QHP. A home that was built prior to that date that has an addition built after 1998 would be eligible for the QHP, but the post-1998 addition would not be.
Any new construction must be built to the current standards and must be approved by the Airport’s Land Use Commission. I believe that Land Use Commission approval requires the execution of an avigation easement, as is required for participation in QHP.

I know there are reasons not to like the airport authority, but there is no reason to distrust the staff there. They are people doing their jobs. You may not like the jobs they are doing and may resent the impact the airport has on our community, but I have
never found anyone to be untruthful. I cannot say the same for the FAA. I had more than one FAA official lie to me both in person and in writing during the NextGen implementation.


Vern February 20, 2019 at 6:18 am

Thanks, Paul.
This avigation easement, when a property owner signs over the airspace above their property to the Airport Authority, who is the primary beneficiary and to what extent?


Vern February 20, 2019 at 6:19 am
Paul Webb February 20, 2019 at 9:05 am

The beneficiary of the easement is the airport authority. You are giving the airport the right to overfly your property. In exchange you get either noise mitigation (QHP) or the right to build (new construction subject to the ALUCP).


Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: