East Village isn’t the thriving arts district it once was.
When Petco Park was built 12 years ago, lots of the artists and galleries taking advantage of cheap rent and large warehouses there were priced out.
East Village has been gentrifying since the ballpark went up. High-priced condos and nice restaurants are popping up, but the neighborhood’s also home to the region’s largest homeless population. It’s not uncommon to find homeless encampments right next to top-dollar high rises.
In episode four of Culturecast, VOSD’s podcast covering the intersection of arts and gentrification in Barrio Logan, I talk to people who are worried that Barrio Logan’s development will mirror East Village’s if the Chargers get their new downtown stadium. They say the arts scene that’s been flourishing in and around Barrio Logan will die if the stadium’s built.
Brent Beltran, who lives in Barrio Logan and is part of the Barrios Against Stadiums group, said he’s concerned that, like what happened after the ballpark was built in the East Village, both the very poor and the very rich will come to his neighborhood if Measure C passes in November. He said he and his neighbors have already seen an influx of homeless people, and he thinks more will come if the measure passes.