Columbia District, Downtown San Diego

The Columbia district is surrounded by Little Italy to the North, the Marina district to the south and the San Diego bay to the west. The San Diego trolley and Amtrack train stations are at walking distance, and freeway I-5 and the San Diego International airport are just minutes way. The tallest and newest downtown high-rises stand in this neighborhood taking full advantage of the panoramic views to the Pacific Ocean and Point Loma. Buyers to Columbia district should expect condos and penthouses with ocean views, luxury amenities, and higher HOA fees than other buildings in downtown.

This downtown neighborhood was known for its high concentration of business high-rises, federal and state government offices, and hotels. It wasn’t until 2008 when the development of residential complexes started to flourish.


Attractions to visitors and residents of the Columbia district are abundant, and most are just couple blocks away from most condo complex. The Museum of Contemporary Arts (MCASD) opened a permanent location in the late 1980s located in the former baggage claim building for the Santa Fe Depot. This venue with its variety of art exhibits and cultural events attracts visitors year-round.

The waterfront promenade with its mile long walkway by the San Diego bay and its display of life-size sculptures from local artist creates a beautiful place for leisure walks and bike rides.

Water excursion activities like brunch or dinner tours around the bay, whale watching tours, sailing boat rentals, and daily trip to the Coronado Island are all popular activates enjoyed by locals and tourists.

Buyers should know:

The North Embarcadero Visionary Plan will transform the waterfront by adding a mile-long pedestrian promenade that will include restaurants, entertainment, shops, and landscaped areas. Also, the revamping of the Broadway Pier and the recent approval of couple 35+ story luxury residential complexes will make the Columbia district very desirable.

This neighborhood has the newest condos in Downtown San Diego, with luxury amenities and panoramic views to the Pacific Ocean. Expect higher HOA fees in these newer condo units that in other Downtown districts. Electra, as the tallest tower in the neighborhood erects 43 stories high offering ocean panoramic views. The Grand at Santa Fe with its 2 towers and its 430 is the complex with the most density. The Columbia district offers buyers studios, condos, penthouses and townhomes with units ranging in size between 500 Sqft to 5,000 Sqft.

Complexes in Columbia District, Downtown San Diego

Sapphire Tower
The Grande at Santa Fe