San Diego’s Best Downtown Condos: The Legend Vs The Mark

The newly created Ballpark District in Downtown San Diego is quickly emerging as the newest hotspot to live in San Diego. Spurned from the development of the new San Diego Petco Baseball Park, home of The San Diego Padres, this newly formed neighborhood is comprised of hip restaurants, bars, shops, and a variety of condo developments.

We are frequently asked which condo building in the Ballpark District is the best. In order to answer that question, it is only appropriate to break the buildings into two separate and distinctive categories, low/mid rises and high rises. The balance of this article will focus on the “best” high rises, in the San Diego Downtown Real Estate Market. (For the purposes of this article, high rises are described as being 13 stories and above)

While the answer contained herein is completely subjective, Real Estate Agent Todd Deboer and Real Estate Broker Joe Marcotte, have discussed information gathered from current owners, renters, personal experiences, and interaction with on site management staff to qualify our findings. With that said, The Legend, built by Bosa Development Corp in 2007, and The Mark, built by Douglas Wilson in 2007, are a cut above the rest.

While both communities offer a high quality product, there are very distinct differences between them that are important to understand before making that all important decision to buy.

First, The Mark is located at 800 The Mark Lane, taking up a whole city block between 8th and 9th Ave. and between Market St. and Island Ave. The Mark is also the tallest residential tower in the Ballpark District and towers 33 stories above ground containing 233 high rise tower condos and 11 townhomes.

The modernistic exterior of The Mark is show cased with titanium looking skin that creates a very contemporary and clean look.

The interior of the units have a chic, urban industrial feel accentuated by exposed concrete in the units and common areas as well as large floor to ceiling windows.

The Mark has more than 30 floor plans to choose from, allowing a great deal of flexibility for buyers wanting a large variety. One bedroom units range from 739 sq. ft. to over 1000 sq. ft. and sell in the low $300Ks to the high $400Ks respectively. 2 bedrooms, 2 bath units start at 1126 sq. ft. and go up to 2011 sq. ft., prices ranging from the high $400ks to units over $2M.

All one bedrooms come with one parking space underground and some of the one bedrooms come with two parking spaces. Every 2 bedroom condo comes with 2 side-by-side parking spaces underground. The townhomes, located on the ground floor, create an interior courtyard affect accentuated by the very popular common area amenities. All of the Townhomes are 2 stories, 2 bedroom, 2 baths, 1585 sq. ft. and sell in the mid $500ks.

All units come with a separate storage locker and most units have balconies some of which are amongst the largest that downtown has to offer. However, at the time of this article, the HOA does not permit cooking grills of any kind. HOA fees are based on square footage and run from the mid $600/month to $800/month.

Condos at The Mark all feature granite counters, top of the line stainless steel appliances and upgraded, rich colored cabinetry. The flooring varies among the units from hardwood floors to tile and carpet. There is a vast array of view planes from units at The Mark ranging from courtyard and city views to the highly coveted and unparalleled ballpark and water views.

The Mark is an amenity rich community, featuring 24 hour security, concierge, on-site general manager, business conference room, state-of-the-art fitness center, resort-like grounds with pool, spa, barbeque grills, cabanas and a lawn area where you can find residents playing bocce ball or croquet during the day. The aforementioned Pool is considered the most energetic of all pools in the Downtown San Diego Real Estate Market due to its constant exposure to sunlight and its inviting surrounding and amenities.

The demographic at The Mark is very diverse, ranging from young professionals living downtown to those looking for a 2nd home or an ultimate retirement destination. The Mark’s convenient Ballpark District location allows residents to be close to the entertainment at Petco Park, and the night life of the world renowned Gaslamp Quarter.

From an investment standpoint, The Mark is a very popular place for prospective tenants to live. Rents for 1 bedrooms at The Mark start at about $1700/month and 2 bedrooms units start in the mid $2K range and move up accordingly from there depending on size and view.

The units located above the 12th floor on the southwest corner of the building have some of the most exclusive views to be found in the San Diego Condo Market. Residents in these units can experience a view of the game, San Diego Bay, and Downtown Skyline all within the confines of their units.

The Legend, built in 2007 by Bosa Development and located at 325 7th Ave. is one of the most popular high rise towers in all of downtown. It is the only high rise condominium tower in all of the United States built within the gates of a professional baseball park. This was accomplished by Bosa Development Corporation who bought the land directly from the Padres.

The Legend tower and townhomes total 178 individual condos and the tower covers 23 stories. The lavish amenities include: 24 hour security, concierge, pool/spa, sauna, steam room, men’s and women’s locker rooms and showers, and the ultimate common area amenity in all of downtown, and arguably anywhere in any city, is the 3200 sq. ft. rooftop deck located on top of the 7th floor of the mid-rise extension. This aforementioned party deck comes complete with unobstructed views into Petco Park during Padres games and all of the other exciting entertainment that comes to the stadium. This amazing entertainment area offers fire pits, flat screen TV’s, indoor and outdoor kitchens, and a state of the art central entertainment center. The luxury of moving back and forth from your owner’s condo to the party deck cannot be overstated. In reality, it’s better than having season tickets to the Padres!

The location of the Legend is ideal. Within a moment’s stroll of the front door are all of the new shops and restaurants in the newly emerging Ballpark District as well as the world renowned Gaslamp Quarter with all of its splendor and nightlife. The base of The Legend also contains commercial space occupied by a hip wine bar, Gastro Pub, and other desirable retail tenants.

The Legend consists of ten 1 bedrooms on lower floors and 2 bedroom, 2 bath units ranging from 927-1234 sq ft. priced from the high $400Ks to $700K. On the higher floors there are a limited number of penthouse units which are 2 bedrooms +den, 2.5 baths and are roughly 1500 sq. ft. There are also a number of townhomes surrounding the community which are 2 bedrooms + den, 2.5 baths, 3 stories, and approximately 1800 sq. ft.

All units come with a balcony and feature granite counters, stainless steel GE Monogram appliances and hardwood floors in the living areas. Buyers can decide on units with views of the city, San Diego Bay and the ocean, Petco Park and a combination of all three. Another thing to keep in mind when looking at Legend condos is that not all 2 bedrooms come with 2 parking spaces but they all at least have 1 parking space underground.

The demographic at The Legend is quite diverse, ranging from younger professionals living and working downtown to 2nd home residents looking for a fun and exciting get away.

1 bedroom units rent for approximately $2K/month and the 2 bedrooms range from the mid $2K range to well over $3K/month depending on the size and views of the unit.

As you can see, both The Mark and The Legend offer a very luxurious product conveniently located in the heart of the Ballpark District, Downtown San Diego’s most vibrant neighborhood. Although they do complement each other as being the two premier condominium high rise towers in the area, they are distinctive in style, price, and amenity packages.