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Tierrasanta – an island in the hills

To locals, Tierrasanta is often called "the island in the hills." Surrounded by open space, this San Diego neighborhood provides its residents with many beautiful places to jog, walk or bike. It's bordered by Highway 52 and Miramar Air Station to the north, Mission Trails Regional Park to the east, Interstate 15 to the west, and the San Diego River and Admiral Baker Golf Course to the south. Today, over 30,000 people live in Tierrasanta.

houses ih Tierrasanta photo
Development in Tierrasanta is harmonious with the area's open space, wildlife corridors and canyons.

The area was originally part of the Mission San Diego de Alcala ranch, which was active during the late 18th and 19th centuries. The U.S. military purchased the land in 1941 as Camp Elliott, a Marine Corps training facility. The Marines moved out in 1944 and the land was transferred to the Navy. In 1982 the Tierrasanta community plan was issued that included both the currently developed area and Mission Trails Regional Park.

Recreation Center pool
The Tierrasanta community pool offers swimming classes and a refreshing escape from summer heat.

Tierrasanta was one of the first master-planned communities in San Diego County. The plan has created a neighborhood that complements the beauty of its canyons and wildlife corridors that link together with Mission Trails Regional Park. In 1973 an "open space district" was created for Tierrasanta that assesses property owners to maintain the more than 800 acres of open space.

Today there is a mix of apartments, condominiums and single-family homes. "The last new home construction was in 1994," said Roy Colosimo, a Realtor who works at Coldwell Banker's Tierrasanta office.

Homes along canyon in Tierrasanta
Many homes in Tierrasant enjoys views of surrounding canyons and open space..

The median price for a single-family home sold in May, 2015 here was $623,500 according to DataQuick. The median price for condominiums was $380,000.

"Real estate sales are slow right now - similar to the rest of the county," said Colosimo. "Everyone is looking for a bargain." Like many Realtors, he feels this is a good time to buy and cites the current low interest rates and home prices that have dropped over the past few years.

Stan Duffield has lived in San Diego his entire life. He and his wife Elizabeth moved to Tierrasanta 18 years ago. "I always wanted to live above a canyon," he said. "I love that I can look out my backyard and see a huge open space."

Walking in Tierrasanta
Tierrasanta residents enjoy many beautiful places to jog, walk or bike.

Tierrasanta offers residents a location that makes it convenient to reach everything San Diego has to offer. "The central location puts us 20 minutes or less from pretty much anything you would need - downtown, UTC, Sea World, SDSU, Mission Valley, Qualcomm Stadium, and La Jolla," said Brian Bortness, a 10-year Tierrasanta resident. "There's no drive-through traffic within the community. You can't cut through Tierrasanta to go anywhere because we're nestled within beautiful canyons."

"It's the closest we could find to a Midwest feel - neighborly, dog-friendly with community festivals and events like Oktoberfest and a Memorial Day Parade," said Bortness. "Tierrasanta is in a beautiful natural setting where you can walk or bike through canyons right out from your front door...no need to drive. For dining there are many terrific restaurants in the neighborhood including Italian, Mexican, seafood, and Chinese." Bortness cites TerraMex, Edamame, Bellagio, Andiamo and The Fish Bucket as some of his favorites.

The community also has three shopping centers, a branch of the San Diego Public Library, a recreation center, a community pool and a research park. Part of the San Diego Unified School District, Tierrasanta has several top-ranked elementary and middle schools, and Serra High School.

Tierrasanta has achieved what its planners envisioned. It offers residents a blend of a peaceful lifestyle combined with a location that makes it easy to reach all of San Diego's many attractions.

Copyright 2015 TownBlip.



map link Tierrasanta

More communities



Tierrasanta Recreation Center
11238 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.

Mission Trails Regional Park
East end of Clairemont Mesa Blvd.



Junipero Serra High School
5156 Santo Rd.


Farb Middle School
4880 La Cuenta Dr.

De Portola Middle School
11010 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.


Vista Grande Elementary
5506 Antigua Blvd.

Tierrasanta Elementary
5450 La Cuenta Dr.

Kumeyaay Elementary
6475 Antigua Blvd.

Miller Elementary
4343 Shields St.

Hancock Elementary School
3303 Tussig St.


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