University Heights is another one of those neighborhoods with several distinct pockets. But any area with two zip codes is bound to be unusual.
The area is shaped like a horseshoe, surrounded by Mission Valley, Highway 163, and Hillcrest. The handle of the horseshoe parallels Park Boulevard and lies to the east. It appears very much like North Park with houses and apartments scattered about. Even so, it is a premium place to live in the Metro area, although Maryland does carry a lot of traffic. The northern portion of Park Boulevard has been transformed over the past decade. This commercial rennaisance has helped revitalize this pocket.
The southerly portion is located closest to Hillcrest and sports a very nice pedestrian bridge linking Vermont Street with a vibrant commercial sector. Comprised mainly of single family homes, this area does have a few small apartment buildings retains a strong residential look. There are a few crummy properties but they should improve over time. The bridge to Hillcrest is a welcome addition to the neighborhood along with easy access to one of the better Farmers Markets around. This section would be a good investment play.
The northerly section is the high-rent part of the neighborhood. As you drive west on Madison you intersect with the New England streets to the south and the even nicer streets to the north that hug the rim of Mission Valley. This is where the most expensive real estate is found.