How Walkable is Your San Diego Neighborhood?

How walkable is your neighborhood? Increasingly, walkability is a major factor in where you choose to live. If you’re one of the many San Diegans who have to fight for parking on a daily basis, you’ve put some serious thought into this question.

What Classifies as Walkable?

The experts over at measure the walkability of any address using a patented points system. Points are awarded based on the distance to amenities in each category. Amenities within a 5-minute walk (1/4 miles) are given maximum points. More distant amenities are given distance-adjusted points, with no points given after a 30-minute walk.

Following this logic, the immediate vicinity, or less than a quarter mile radius, remains the most important from a neighborhood walkability standpoint. Factors such as pedestrian safety, variety of local stores and services, and general level of nearby points of interest are all key, as well.

What’s Important to Be Near

When scoping out a new potential home, it’s important to keep an eye out for how far away certain essential amenities are; public transportation is especially important. Access to bus, train or trolley stops can also help expand your walkability radius, if, for instance, your favorite Chinese takeout place is only a stop away.

The essential retail stores also hit the top of the list, with grocery stores, farmers markets, or hip boutiques being huge positives when you want to run out for a quick bite or forgot an essential dinner party item. Speaking of dinner, a good variety of restaurants that are within a quick evening stroll is important, as well, with the local coffee shop and best brunch spots being a must for anyone, young or old.

It also doesn’t hurt to have a good hangout in your neighborhood, like a decent pub, brewery, or sports bar to catch the game, when you’re feeling social. The Guild on 30th, for example, is walking distance to Krakatoa, known for its tasty breakfast and lunch and dog-friendly patio, Captain Kirk’s where you can grab an acai bowls, and the historic Turf Supper Club if you’d like to enjoy a cocktail and fine dining. Other important walkable destinations include pharmacies, running trails, parks, dry cleaners, and schools (if you have kids), among others.

Walkability at The Guild on 30th

Looking at this walkability heat map on, Golden Hill is a veritable hotspot of things to do, with a score in the high 70s, or “Very Walkable,” a great emphasis on pedestrian safety and plenty of walkable options – easy access to transit, schools, and parks. If you’re interested in seeing what else is within walking distance to The Guild, you can check out our ideas on how to spend a weekend in Golden Hill. Being in the heart of San Diego and a stone’s throw from both Balboa Park and South Park really opens up the available options of for nearby activities.

The Guild on 30th will offer a new home option with great walkability in brand new homes that also while also featuring beautiful interior finishes, rooftop decks, and amazing views. Check out the amenities at The Guild and get more information on available units by clicking here.

How to Check Walkability

It may seem obvious, but the best way to get a feel for the walkability of a place is to get out there and walk it yourself. Once you get out and about, it may be surprising what you find that doesn’t show up on Google Street View. A huge joy of walkable neighborhoods is to get out, wander around, and find the treasures that only a local knows about – a super cute boutique with the best birthday gifts, or the bar around the corner with an amazing Tuesday happy hour –  things you can’t appreciate from a simple look at a map. If you want to go full qualitative with your search, however, you can check on scores from real estate websites such as Zillow,, and

Learn More

The Guild on 30th offers the opportunity to purchase well-designed homes with green living features in a desirable area, and all within an median affordable price range. If you’re interested in learning more about The Guild on 30th or what makes Golden Hill so special, contact one of our residential advisors today by emailing, calling 619.269.9800 or visiting

The 10 Best Spots to Watch the Sunset in San Diego

Are you headed out to enjoy the sunset this weekend? That’s one of the reasons our city is so popular, because every beautiful, dreamy sunset in San Diego sinks into the water. Whether you’re hiking in the mountains, lying out on the beach, or sipping a cocktail from a rooftop, you can experience a breathtaking sunset view. Here are our picks for the best San Diego locations to catch the day’s last rays.

10. Torrey Pines State Park

A few hours of hiking on the cliffs gives you a spectacular vantage point to see sun, sand, cliffs, trees, and waves. Peek over the right cliff and you may also catch a glimpse of some nude bathers at Black’s Beach!

9. Altitude Sky Lounge

Located at the top of the Marriott in the Gaslamp Quarter, Altitude is the prime place to unwind with a stiff drink and watch the sunset over the bay. Cozy up to the outdoor firepit as the surrounding glass blocks the ocean breeze and keeps you from getting too chilly! Keep an eye out for foul balls from nearby Petco Park, as Altitude also has a great view of Padres Games!

8. George’s at the Cove

La Jolla is known for its swanky shops, bars, and high-class neighborhood, and George’s at the Cove is no exception. Enjoy the eye-catching views of the colorful and lush La Jolla coastline from the comfort of your own booth. George’s has top-notch California Modern cuisine but also makes one killer margarita.

7. Sunset Cliffs

The name says it all, doesn’t it? These sandstone cliffs just south of Ocean Beach offer sunset-seekers plenty of gorgeous unimpeded views. Watch the surfers bob in and out of the waves while you get to savor every last second of the sunset from the cliffs that are named for them.

6. Mount Soledad

One of the highest points in San Diego, Mount Soledad’s summit, is also a veteran’s memorial and gives you sweeping 360-degree views of the county in all of its orange-bathed glory.

5. Bali Hai Restaurant

The views from the Bali Hai actually face away from the sunset, but dusk is still a magical time to watch the rays bounce off the glass buildings of downtown from across San Diego Bay. The traffic in the bay dies down and turns to a glassy stillness that can’t be rivaled.

4. Potato Chip Rock

The mildly strenuous hike to this landmark in Poway is well worth the sweeping views of North County it affords. Watch the rays sweep over the landscape as you pretend to be Simba from The Lion King.

3. Sunrise Highway

We know the name of this spot technically harkens to a different time of day, but this delightful stretch of Highway outside Julian lends a crisp, dramatically different view that is just as enjoyable at dusk as it is at dawn. Perfect for a long drive with the windows down.

2. Balboa Park

While several places within Balboa Park offers a pretty evening view, our personal favorite is from the Grape Street Dog Park. Nothing caps off a day like watching the sun sink over Point Loma, past downtown, past the golf course. Cute fluffy friends to enjoy it with are just the cherry on top.

1. Your Own Rooftop Balcony

There may be some beautiful places to watch a magnificent sunset in San Diego, but as Dorothy would say, “There’s no place like home!” Absolutely nothing beats being able to see the same stunning view of Point Loma, The San Diego Bay, and Downtown than being able to watch it in your sweats with your favorite glass of wine from your own deck, every night of the week.

The Guild on 30th will offer some truly amazing views, and when it’s your house, you have the option of enjoying it with your new neighbors or all by yourself in your own brand new home. Check out the sunset view from The Guild and get more information on available units by clicking here or contacting one of our residential advisors today at 619.78.GUILD or

About the Guild on 30th

The Guild is being developed as a Joint Venture between McNamara Ventures ( and Agora Partners (  Keegan McNamara, Principal of McNamara Ventures, is passionate about urban infill and Smart Growth ( and is focused on developing small-scale, high density, residential and mixed-use projects in San Diego County.  

The Guild Featured on Smarter San Diego (Video)

The Guild on 30th is an exciting new project that will bring 15 new, structurally independent townhomes to an up-and-coming area of San Diego. The Guild is situated on Golden Hill and includes a rooftop deck so that residents can enjoy views of the San Diego Bay, Coronado, and the downtown skyline. Watch the video to learn more details about these new townhomes and find out what other unique features they offer to future residents. Watch now!

What is Affordable Housing in San Diego? And Why Aren’t More Builders Investing in It?

The secret is out. San Diego is truly “America’s Finest City.” It has earned this designation by having pristine beaches hemmed in by mountains, more than 320 days of sunshine a year on average, and summer temperatures consistently hovering at 75 degrees. Unfortunately, for those in the market to purchase a home, these facts are reflected in our home prices.  

High demand from robust job growth and a severely limited supply of new homes have accelerated the sky-high prices. San Diego is the 9th Most Unaffordable City in the World, according to Time Magazine. It trails seventh and eighth place San Francisco and London, with a median house price 8.1 times the median income, and is more expensive than both Los Angeles and New York.

It is understandable that buyers are frustrated, especially since builders are experiencing the same sense of anxiety. Few builders have been fortunate enough to secure land and sustain the rigorous process of entitling it to build that ever elusive (but much needed) home in the “middle”: The moderately-priced new home for the average homebuyer.   

New Development

With the rebound of the economy since the Great Recession in 2009, Southern California and San Diego have seen a boom of growth in the construction and housing sectors. However, according to real estate website, Zillow, 64% of new construction has been luxury homes, primarily large detached homes in suburban or coastal locations.

Development professionals say that only luxury homes have margins that they can justify for the prohibitively expensive permitting and building costs in order to still offer a profit.  Some estimates put the cost of fees and regulatory costs at 30% of the total home cost, making it more difficult for builders to supply new homes for entry-level and move-up buyers.  

Many Cities, including San Diego, have laws requiring developers to either set aside a certain number of units for government controlled low-income housing or pay affordable housing development fees to cover construction of more low-income housing. Thus, there is a widening gap between luxury and affordable housing, leaving little in between.

The Difference Between “Affordable Housing” and Affordably Priced Homes

Government mandated and controlled Affordable Housing offers families housing options below market rates, depending on their income levels. Even people earning 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI) often qualify for subsidized housing. In other words, you can make 20% more than the average San Diegan and still qualify for subsidized housing, if you can find it.

Affordable Housing is essential, and currently necessary to provide housing for our working class families. A well-functioning economy requires housing for the workforce, period.

Subsidized housing provides lower monthly costs, but the long-term upside is often limited by price and rent controls. Therefore, people living in subsidized housing are missing out on the opportunity to build long-term wealth.

Ideally, our cities offer housing options to buyers across the income spectrum.  But unfortunately, that is not the way it is currently playing out in San Diego.

The Missing Middle

San Diego home prices have seen double-digit gains since 2009, and coastal housing has a median price that has climbed well above $1 Million. This squeeze from rising home prices and high demand has caused a quandary for those looking to purchase a home at an attainable price for the average family. Many of these constrained buyers are having to push their searches further and further outside the city’s core to find affordable houses. With new development occurring mostly in the outer regions of the county, north and East of Escondido, or south towards the Tijuana border, San Diego’s housing has developed a “missing middle”, a term that describes both the pricing and location that is desperately lacking from the market.

The Guild on 30th

Seeing a need, The Guild on 30th looks to fill in the gap of the missing middle. Offering new development homes in a fantastic location, beautiful coastal views, and easy access to downtown, entertainment venues, and great restaurants and parks, The Guild on 30th is indeed designed for buyers seeking the perks of living in San Diego with skyline views but without a sky-high price tag attached to them.

New construction is inherently more “green” than older homes, with much higher air quality and greater energy efficiency. But The Guild goes many steps beyond that, with a commitment to seeking LEED certification, and a goal of LEED Platinum. If that goal is achieved, it will be the first for-sale housing development in San Diego at any price point to reach the Platinum designation.

With one and two bedroom units starting in the $500’s, and two bedroom units starting in the $600’s, as well as very low HOA dues, The Guild on 30th offers an incredible opportunity for those who desire the long-term benefits of homeownership. It also provides the opportunity for San Diegans to own their own magnificent piece of Southern California, without selling their first-born child or marrying a supermodel to do so.

If you’re interested to see what a home built for the missing middle looks like, contact The Guild on 30th for a tour today! Contact one of our residential advisors today at 619.78.GUILD or

About the Guild on 30th

A Joint Venture between McNamara Ventures ( and Agora Partners ( the Guild on 30th is a condominium community dedicated to improving green living opportunities in emerging neighborhoods. Keegan McNamara, Principal of McNamara Ventures, is passionate about urban infill and the tenets of Smart Growth ( Focused on developing small-scale, high-density, residential and mixed-use projects in San Diego County, Keegan McNamara and Howard Kozloff, the Principal at Agora Partners, have turned a meeting through common interests at the Urban Land Institute ( into a  close partnership dedicated to advancing thoughtful housing with a purpose.  


Who LEEDs San Diego: The Guild on 30th

Today’s consumers are always on the hunt for a more sustainable and eco-friendly product, which has resulted in a lot of buzzwords being used to various products. All Natural. Organic. Eco-Friendly. Locally Sourced. LEED certified is one such label that is important to understand and appreciate the benefits it provides.  It is the nutrition label of the home and demonstrates in measurable terms how a home incorporates efficient features.

What is LEED?

LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program run by the US Green Building Council that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. Buildings of all kinds, residential, industrial, retail, medical, and more are evaluated on a points system for their commitment to “green building” and are awarded different levels of certifications based on their score.

The ratings cover the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes and neighborhoods, and a building can be scored as LEED Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum based on the number of points it accrues. The LEED certification process is designed to inspire project teams to seek innovative solutions that are better for the environment and make the best use of limited resources.

Why Buy LEED Certified?

Most people study the side of a box before deciding which cereal to eat for breakfast.  Shouldn’t the same careful consideration be given when deciding which home is right for you? LEED-certified buildings are specially designed to be resource efficient by using less water and energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, from a consumer’s point of view, each of these items also has the bonus of saving money. A LEED certified building can cost substantially less to heat, cool, and maintain!

The Guild on 30 is being built to LEED Gold Certification standards, which the highest LEED certification a building can receive.  Some of the many great green building features at the Guild on 30th will include green features that will save on SDGE bills that continue to inflate, and water that is harder to come by during this historic drought. If you’re interested in owning a LEED Certified property, contact The Guild on 30th today at 619.78.GUILD or

What’s Nearby The Guild on 30th?

You wake up Saturday to a soft coastal breeze with the sun coming up over San Diego’s skyline. It’s expected to be a classic 75-degree beautiful day and the sunlight is just starting to burn off the marine layer so you can see the end of the Point past the Bay.

With over 330 sunny days a year on average, you would think that another gorgeous day would lose its luster. But, living in America’s Finest City, the weather never gets old. What do you do to make use of this wonderful weather you’ve been given? How about a little bike ride?

Step One: Coffee and a Bike

Throw on your sunnies for the quick 3 minute walk to Influx, where you can pick up a quick latte and a Decobike from the rental rack out front. Sponsored by the City of San Diego, you can rent an inexpensive bike from one location and drop it off at one of their many locations around San Diego. You can check their website to see how many bikes are available at each location and get a discounted monthly subscription.

On Saturday morning, the Golden Hill Farmers Market will be in full swing; stroll through to grab a freshly picked bouquet or some local honey and listen to live music. You can also head across the street to prepare for an afternoon picnic. Golden Hill Liquor features beer crafted by local breweries and Temecula Valley wines to enjoy. Hop on your bike and head north to hit some of the beautiful hiking and biking trails through Balboa Park.

Step Two: Balboa Park – Soak in Some Culture

You follow the trail up to the Balboa Park driving range and decide to hit a bucket of balls to perfect your swing or play a full round on the 18 hole golf course before taking a pit stop at the charming Tobey’s 19th Hole restaurant to soak in the view of the canyon.

Of course, if you had turned the other direction, you would have a multitude of world class museums to peruse. The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center has a selection of IMAX films and nothing beats a stroll through the free-of-charge Botanical Gardens. Stop by the Spreckels Organ Pavilion to see a free concert or sip on refreshments at the patio of the Prado, one of San Diego’s most scenic restaurants.

Step Three: Head East to South Park

Hop back on your bike and head further East through Balboa Park and you’ll find yourself smack dab in the middle of the colorful South Park. Still a mere 10 minutes from home, you have access to some of the trendiest and tastiest restaurants in the city.

Diners in Golden Hill and South Park have no shortage of creative cuisine options, from the retro-styled Turf Supper Club, where locals love the do-it-yourself vibe of grilling their own steaks in the center of the dining room to family-friendly dining at Station Tavern where an old trolley station serves as an innovative burger joint.

Step Four: A Hop, Skip, and a Jump    

After a long day of exploring, golfing, hiking, and biking, it’s always nice to be home in 10 minutes or less. Once your weary head hits the pillow, you can rest easy knowing that anything you missed today is just around the corner to be explored tomorrow. With the quick access to the highways and proximity to downtown, a whole new adventure awaits you.

Step Five: Make it yours

With some select units still available at the Guild on 30th, this lifestyle is just a phone call away.  Contact one of our sales agents today at 619.78.GUILD or