Normal Heights is an older inner-city neighborhood overlooking Mission Valley. It is made up primarily of small stucco homes built after 1920. It is nestled between University Heights to the west and Kensington to the east. The southerly border is a matter of some debate but El Cajon Boulevard is generally accepted. The area north of Adams Avenue is the preferred section and is made up primarily of single family homes. South of Adams Avenue all the way to El Cajon Boulevard is apartment territory. There are plenty of these, mainly four to sixteen unit projects along with a smattering of smaller condominium projects and single family homes that escaped the post-WW II bulldozer rush.
Normal Heights is very affordable and the location is above average, being close to Mission Valley, downtown, and Balboa Park. The revival in North Park centering at the intersection of 30th and University, is only a few blocks from downtown Normal Heights at 32nd Street and Adams Avenue. The latter is currently undergoing a commercial renaissance as the old Antique Row is becoming a new Restaurant Row, a viable alternative to Hillcrest dining. The fact that businesses along the Adams Avenue corridor are improving rapidly speaks volumes about the immediate neighborhood’s positive change. This area may never experience a change as dramatic as South Park, but I think it will outperform, in terms of real estate prices, other inner city neighborhoods over the next decade. The affordability and prime location are strong attributes, that when combined with the improvement in the commercial districts, auger well for the future of Normal Heights.