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Southwest Mobile Storage - Best Mobile Storage & Office Containers In San Diego, CA

Southwest Mobile Storage is a family-owned shipping container business founded in 1995. Our strength for more than 25 years comes from the specialized knowledge and passion of our people, along with serving over 24,000 commercial, construction and residential customers. Our facility and expertise in maintaining, manufacturing, and delivering corrugated steel containers is unrivaled in the industry.

While the rental side of our business is regional with branches throughout the Southwest, our container sales and modification operations are nationwide and becoming global. San Diego, CA offers a wide selection of portable offices and mobile storage containers you can rent, buy or modify.

Our experts in container rental, sales and customization are committed to providing you the highest quality and best experience from service to delivery - our reputation depends on it.

Whether your need is for storage, office space, moving, multi-purpose or custom use, we've got your back. Here's how:

Storage Containers San Diego, CA

NO MATTER YOUR NEED, WE'VE GOT YOUR BACK.

STORE AT YOUR LOCATION

We bring your storage container to you for convenient, easy access at your home, business or jobsite. Plus, you'll get more choice in storage space and better security, for a fraction of the cost of a pod or add on building, saving money and energy.

STORE AT OUR LOCATION

Not enough room to keep a storage container at your business, home or construction site? No problem - we can store it for you. Plus, you get 70% more space and better security, for a fraction of the cost of public storage units.

CUSTOM STORAGE

Need a permanent storage solution for your business, residence or construction? We sell new and used shipping containers in many sizes with a variety of add-ons. Or customize a container to your specific storage needs with our certified fabrication experts.

LOCAL MOVE

Take your time packing with our moving containers. We'll deliver to your business or home and pick it up whenever you're ready to move. So, you don't have to stress about moving or making multiple trips in one day, like if you rented a moving truck.

LONG-DISTANCE MOVE

Our moving container solutions ensure the long-distance move of your home or business is highly efficient and affordable throughout the southwest. In fact, we usually cost 20%-40% less than full-service movers.

MOVING & STORAGE

We understand move-in and move-out dates might be different. We can store your moving container at our highly secure facilities until you're ready to move to your new home or business location, and you can conveniently access it at any time.

OFFICE USE

Whether you need a workspace, conference room, or other office requirement, our ground-mounted mobile offices meet any and all of your business needs. Plus, it's faster and easier than building additions.

BUSINESS USE

If you need your shipping container to serve multiple uses, such as office-storage combos, breakrooms and even utilities, we've got you covered. We'll modify a custom container to fit your business needs and bring your business to the next level

CUSTOM USE

We'll create a custom container to fit your unique needs anywhere in the US. With our container modification expertise, we make any idea a reality. From pop-up stores to multi-story structures, our unrivaled facilities and fabrication experts do it all.

You'll get your own dedicated storage and container expert to serve as your one point of contact for easy, convenient service you can trust.
With our wide selection of intermodal containers for sale and rent, you'll find exactly what you need, from size, to type and condition.
We maintain our rental fleet to the highest standard - our integrity depends on it.
Our certified, experienced Conex container modification experts have more than 500 years combined experience modifying ISO containers.
All of our containers come with high security dual-locking system for no additional charge, so you can rest assured your stored items stay safe and that you don't have to pay extra for it.
icon-scale
At our unrivaled 90,000 sq ft indoor fabrication facility, ensuring your custom shipping container is made exactly to your specifications.
With our level of service, quality and expertise, you won't find a better value anywhere else.
Our portable offices include lighting and electrical outlets, internet hookups, HVAC and were crafted by our in-house steel container fabrication experts for top-quality construction.

Premium Quality - High Security

With Southwest Mobile Storage, you get much more than a POD or typical Conex box. You also get high security, unparalleled service and unmatched container modification expertise and facilities. No other company offers that much.

Shipping containers and storage containers come in a range of sizes. The most common external lengths are 20ft and 40ft with a width of 8ft. ISO Containers are typically 8ft 6in tall, but high cube containers are 9ft 6in tall. We also have steel containers in a variety of sizes from 10ft long to 45ft long to rent or buy, and we can modify shipping containers into any size you want.

 Rent Storage Containers San Diego, CA

SMS Mobile Storage Containers have these high quality features:

1/8" thick steel plate bottom side rails
High strength steel supporting cross members
1 1/8" thick hardwood floor with galvanized self-tapping screws
16-gauge corrugated steel walls
16-gauge roof
270-degree swing cargo door(s)
High security dual-locking system*
Spot-grinded, primed & repainted with a beige high-grade water reducible alkyd direct-to-metal enamel*
* Comes standard on all rental units

SMS portable workspace containers have these structural features:

High security window bars, lever & deadbolt set with lock box
Studs & R-19 Insulation covered with wood paneling
1 1/8" marine board floor is covered with a durable single part gray epoxy coating
Dual pane low-E horizontal sliding windows with screens and miniblinds
18 Gauge steel polystyrene core 3-hour fire rated personnel door
All of our workspaces are refurbished grade or better
Exterior load center operating on 100 Amp single phase 230 Volt power
Light switch, receptacles and 4' light fixtures; all wiring is Romex 12/2
CAT-6 voice and data lines with electrical junction box
HVAC units ranging from 1 ton to 2 ton on rentals; ability to customize up to 10 tons of cooling

Having flexible storage containers options is important, but security is crucial to protect your peace of mind and your possessions.

At Southwest Mobile Storage, we don't believe in leaving things to chance. We want you to rest easy knowing your inventory, documents, tools, equipment and other items are safe 24/7. That is why we equip SMS high-security slide bolt locking systems and lockboxes on our entire fleet of rental freight containers.

EVERY ONE OF OUR MOBILE STORAGE CONTAINERS FOR RENT IN San Diego, CA, INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING SAFETY MEASURES:

High-security slide-bolt locking system and extra-long lock box, giving you twice the security and peace of mind.
No holes to ensure your rental shipping container is wind and water-tight.
No rust for your safety.
14-gauge corrugated steel for strength and reinforcement.

Contact us to speak with a helpful, friendly representative to better understand our full range of capabilities. We are happy to answer any questions you have, go over pricing and set up a time and place to deliver your Conex box. Our quotes are 100% free and you are under no obligation to pay for your consultation.

COMMERCIAL STORAGE CONTAINERS TO RENT, BUY OR MODIFY IN San Diego, CA

When you own a business or manage one, it's crucial to have efficient, affordable ways to store inventory and supplies, whether it's to grow your business or adapt to changes in the market, like the many caused by the pandemic.

Renting storage containers to keep at your business eliminates the cost and hassles of sending your staff to offsite storage facilities. Steel containers with roll up doors make storing and retrieving items faster and easier. Auto repair shops and other businesses that need easy access throughout the workday to secure storage for tools, parts, equipment or supplies find renting shipping containers to be the best solution for their business storage needs. Southwest Mobile Storage has your back.

 Storage Containers For Rent San Diego, CA

Renting portable offices gives your business more workspace, breakrooms, pop up stores, security booths and more, without the cost and red tape associated with constructing building additions. Plus, a steel storage container fits neatly into one parking space and provides much stronger security than Pods and way more convenience than self-storage units.

If you have a specific need, we can modify shipping containers to build whatever you need to grow your business. Whether it's a portable workspace to run your business, like a pop-up container bar, or a durable facility for scientific research, like a container laboratory, or even a container gym, our unrivaled fabrication facility and modification experts got you covered. Our full-time, in-house staff of certified welders, engineers, electricians, carpenters and painters have over 500 years combined experience modifying thousands of container projects for just about any business use you can imagine.

WHETHER YOUR BUSINESS IS COMMERCIAL, HEALTHCARE, GOVERNMENT OR EDUCATION, OR YOUR INTEREST IS TO RENT, BUY OR MODIFY SHIPPING CONTAINERS, SMS HAS YOU COVERED:

One
Offsite storage alternatives cause a mess of hassles and headaches. Expanding office space and storage capacity at your location saves time, money and hassle of making multiple trips offsite.
We offer more choice in security, size and features in steel Conex boxes or ISO shipping containers than a public storage unit or Pod for less cost and far greater service.
We offer flexible, month-to-month rental agreements and prorate by the day after your first 28-day billing cycle.
With us, you get a dedicated account manager you can rely on, so you can focus on running your business than waste time with a different person every time you call that doesn't know or care as much.
While other companies may have some staff for modifying containers, most outsource the work, so you don't know who is actually doing the modifications or how much they're marking up the price.
 Mobile Storage Containers San Diego, CA
When you modify a shipping container for your business, you won't have to worry about expensive, lengthy and complicated construction.
We have modified thousands of containers nationwide and internationally for more than 25 years for NASA, US Navy, GCP Applied Technologies, Helix and Sundt to name a few. And rent containers to Amazon, Walmart and many of other nationally recognized brands.
Our extensive staff makes it possible to custom build multiple projects simultaneously and our 90,000 sq ft indoor fabrication facility prevents contaminants from interfering with fabrication, which delivers better quality and precision.

CUSTOM CONTAINERS FOR YOUR HOME IN San Diego, CA

Building additions to your home can be very expensive and requires going through the hassle of securing permits and waiting for construction. You can save money, time and stress by modifying a shipping container instead. Whether you need additional space for a home gym, recreation or storage, we can convert steel containers into anything you can imagine. Our custom container gyms, man-caves or she-sheds, garages and more give you the extra space you need without the hassle, cost and wait that comes with home renovation.

Renting shipping containers for temporary storage, either when moving or dealing with restoration from a fire or flood, provides a secure, convenient way to keep your belongings close for accessing them whenever you need to. Plus, renting mobile storage containers for moving costs less than traditional movers and allows you to take your time packing, reducing the stress that comes from moving. You can also rent portable offices for your home to make working remotely distraction-free.

 Rent Shipping Containers San Diego, CA

HERE'S WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE US TO RENT, BUY OR MODIFY A SHIPPING CONTAINER FOR YOUR HOME:

With an extensive in-house staff and 90,000 sq ft container modification facility, we're able to deliver consistently high quality and work on multiple projects simultaneously for a fast turnaround.

Other companies don't have the facility, staff or resources to modify shipping containers and will outsource the work to various shops who may not have the special experience or tools needed to modify the right way.

You can rest assured knowing your custom container is safe in our hands. Our certified weld and quality control inspectors ensure everything is structurally sound and built to your specifications through every step of the process.

Renting a moving container from us makes your move much less stressful because you won't have to rush to pack your whole house into a moving truck in one day. Instead, you can take your time packing over the course of a month.

Our ISO shipping containers are weatherproof and come with vault-like security, so you don't have to worry about theft or damage to your belongings.

You won't get that level of security from U-Haul or other moving truck companies.

Renting a storage container at your home keeps your belongings close and gives you convenient 24/7 access, so you're always able to retrieve the contents of your container when you need to.

We know move in and move out dates don't always line up. We can store your packed rental container at our secure facility until your new home is ready.

With our mobile storage containers for rent in San Diego, CA, you can save up to 40% when compared to full-service long-distance movers, while gaining more flexibility in your schedule.

MOBILE STORAGE CONTAINERS & PORTABLE OFFICES TO RENT, BUY OR MODIFY IN San Diego, CA

We know your needs may change suddenly. With our extensive inventory and variety of sizes of portable offices and shipping containers to rent, buy or modify in San Diego, CA, we provide fast service and the best value possible so it's easy for you to get whatever you need when you need it.

Renting storage containers and portable offices from us gives you more flexibility when it comes to your schedule and options. If you don't have enough space at your current location or simply would prefer offsite storage, you can keep your rental storage and office containers at your location or ours - whichever is most convenient for you. You also get more options to choose from when it comes to size and features, like portable offices with divided rooms for private meetings or office/storage combos for storage and office space in one container. All while costing a fraction of the price of a pod or self-storage facility.

You can also buy new or used freight containers from us and choose from a variety of add-ons, including lights, electricity, doors and windows. Or fully customize a shipping container to save time, money and energy by skipping the expensive, lengthy process of constructing building additions. We can modify a Conex box into whatever you can imagine for any use you need, from construction tool cribs to office buildings, monitoring stations, mobile communication towers and much more. The possibilities are endless.

HERE'S HOW WE'VE GOT YOUR BACK:

You'll never face hidden fees or surprises with us. We give you transparent billing up front at the best prices.

With us, you get a reliable, dedicated point of contact, who keeps you updated every step of the way. You can rest assured knowing you'll always get what you need, when you need it.

No other company has the breadth and depth of staff and experience that we do when it comes to modifying shipping containers. Our certified welders, engineers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and painters have more than 500 years of combined experience in fabricating custom steel containers.

We prorate your rent by the day after the first 28-day billing cycle, so you don't have to pay for a full month when you only have your mobile containers and offices for a few days.

While other companies may be able to do small container modifications, most don't have an in-house fabrication staff or 90,000 sq ft fabrication facility like we do. As a result, they outsource the work on your custom container, so you don't know who's actually building it.

Rest assured knowing your modified shipping container will be built to the highest quality standards. Our certified weld and quality control inspectors check every step of the fabrication process to ensure everything is structurally sound and built to your specifications.

HOW RENTING A STORAGE CONTAINER AND MOBILE OFFICE WORKS

Whether you're in need of a storage container for your commercial business, a portable office for your construction site, or a moving container for your home, our process is simple and straightforward.

Choose Your Container

Choose the mobile storage solution that works best for your needs. In this step, you will let us know the number of containers you need, their sizes and what types of doors to equip.

Choose Your Options

Let us know if you would like to add any of our rental options, like a folding table or shelving.

Choose Your Security

Choose from padlocks, puck locks and other enhanced security options. All of our storage containers come standard with dual-locking, vault-like security.

Choose Your Delivery Timeframe

You can expect standard delivery within 3-5 days of your order. If you need expedited delivery, we will do everything in our power to accommodate your needs.

Pick-Up Planning

Do you need to keep your shipping container at our location? Prefer to have our team deliver your packed container to a location of your choice? Let us know, and we'll be by your side to work out the logistics.

HOW RENTING A STORAGE CONTAINER AND MOBILE OFFICE WORKS

1

DETERMINE DESTINATION

Let our team know where we should deliver your mobile storage container for rent in San Diego, CA. Be sure to let us know if there are any special conditions that might prevent our drivers from entering your chosen destination. Before you schedule your delivery, let us know which direction you would like the doors of your container to face.

2

SCHEDULE DATE & TIME

Our drivers can deliver your storage container Monday-Friday, between the hours of 6AM and 2PM local time. Our two-hour delivery window is the most precise in the industry. If you desire another delivery time outside of our standard delivery options, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. As a courtesy, our driver will call you at least 30 minutes before they arrive at your drop-off destination.

3

PREPARE FOR YOUR MOBILE STORAGE CONTAINER DELIVERY

Before we deliver your Conex box, prepare your delivery area by ensuring that there are no low overhangs, arches, wires, trees or any other obstacles that could interfere with your delivery. It's a good idea to mark the space where you would like your steel container placed.

4

DELIVERY & SETUP

When our driver arrives, they will back our truck into the space where you would like your shipping container placed. Once we arrive, we will ensure that your container is delivered safely and securely. If placed on asphalt or pavement, we will use wood dunnage pads to make sure your ground surface is protected and the container is level.

HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT MOBILE CONTAINERS TO Rent, Buy OR Modify IN San Diego, CA?

Check out our FAQ page or reach out to our helpful customer service team today @

619.369.0295

Latest News in San Diego, CA

How San Diego stands out amid California drought

SAN DIEGO — After the driest first three months of a year in state history, California’s governor sounded the alarm last month, urging residents to use less water.Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ...

SAN DIEGO — After the driest first three months of a year in state history, California’s governor sounded the alarm last month, urging residents to use less water.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order asked Californians to tighten their belts and called on local water agencies to aggressively conserve water. But the order came with a caveat: “locally-appropriate actions” — as in, each part of the state can make decisions based on the unique conditions in their region.

If you glance at a map of California from the U.S. Drought Monitor, you’ll notice something unique at the southern border. In a sea of dark orange and red, indicating “severe” or “extreme” conditions, there’s a lighter patch of “moderate drought” encompassing most of San Diego County.

San Diego is not immune to the dry conditions, and the Drought Monitor’s ratings provide only a broad snapshot — a combination of everything from rainfall totals to vegetation health and water supplies. But officials on the ground confirm that the county is uniquely well-positioned for dry times.

The phrase “locally-appropriate actions” is music to the ears of Jeff Stephenson, a water resources manager at San Diego County Water Authority. He says the region deserves the freedom to chart its own path, thanks to a major effort by residents to conserve and the county wholesaler to aggressively attain water.

The push started 30 years ago, when a drought in the 1990s forced San Diego to face facts about its water supply, Stephenson told FOX 5 in a phone interview last week.

Subjected to strict, statewide conservation measures — and gradually educated about basic ways to save water — residents did their part. San Diegans reduced their water use per person about 43% since 1990, according to Stephenson.

For its part, the Water Authority set about diversifying its sources. The agency is a regional wholesaler, supplying 24 water districts and cities with some or all of their water. Expanding beyond its reliance on the Metropolitan Water District, or “the Met,” in Los Angeles, the Water Authority and its member agencies made a range of major investments in their water supply.

Stephenson credited raising the height of the San Vicente Dam, a desalination plant in Carlsbad, and joint programs that reward farming efficiency and capture excess water in the Imperial Valley among the supplier’s most successful ventures.

While the wholesaler stockpiled water, residents used less and less, leaving San Diego in (relatively) better shape during another period of severe drought in the 2010s. But Stephenson says then-Governor Jerry Brown’s drought restrictions “didn’t really consider different parts of the state.”

“One-size-fits-all wasn’t necessarily the best way,” he told FOX 5. “We had all the water we needed … but we weren’t allowed to use it.”

Instead, San Diego was expected to meet the state’s uniform mark — a 25% reduction in water use. “That doesn’t let us enjoy the benefits that we’ve developed for the past 30 years,” Stephenson said.

The Water Authority was happy to see local control infused in Newsom’s new orders. Now, Stephenson says residents can keep doing what has become a “way of life” in San Diego: Using water efficiently and conserving on a daily basis, but not stressing about stricter water-use measures at this time.

The region’s remarkable drought resilience comes with a cost. Even as San Diego residents have used less water over the years, many have paid more on their monthly water bill. That was the subject of a recent Voice of San Diego report titled, “Why Your Water Bill is Rising.”

It’s also caused some consternation among the Water Authority’s member agencies. The presidents of the Fallbrook Public Utility District and the Rainbow Municipal Water Districts’ boards of directors recently used a Times of San Diego editorial to call on the wholesaler to curb rising prices.

“Ballooning costs,” they argued, “are largely the result of decisions made years ago by the Water Authority to spend billions of dollars on water storage and recycling projects and on long-term contracts to purchase water.”

Therefore, the writers argued, the wholesaler has a responsibility to bring prices down at the retail level.

But as MacKenzie Elmer put it in her piece for VOSD, “it’s notoriously difficult to fairly compare how the cost of that supply affects parts of San Diego.”

Rates are set by individual member agencies, and they vary based on how those retailers get their water. Some rely more on the wholesaler than others, and some have their own initiatives that raise or lower their customers’ bills. There are also significant costs to the Water Authority, like the rates set by the Met in L.A., that are outside the local wholesaler’s control.

Officials with the Water Authority generally acknowledge that the cost of their projects and contracts is passed on to consumers in monthly bills.

But the supplier says residents statewide will inevitably face rising prices as the drought deepens. San Diego acted early and is reaping the benefits of greater water supply, while other areas still need to make costly investments of their own to put their region in a better position, representatives say.

While wholesale rates are currently higher in San Diego than they are for the Met, for example, the Water Authority projects the price of water will rise far more rapidly there than in San Diego over the next 16 years.

While the agency continues exploring ways to lower water bills for customers, Stephenson says there’s a new frontier for residents.

San Diegans have largely adopted the “easy, low-hanging fruit” practices, especially in adopting appliances that waste less water, he told FOX 5.

Landscaping alternatives offer homeowners and businesses the next step, especially ripping out grass yards and replacing them with more water-friendly plant life. Tastes in California have evolved, Stephenson says, and drought-proofing your yard has become more attractive and attainable.

Ready to start? You can check out FOX 5’s guide to making your yard more water-efficient and watch the Water Authority’s free video series on the process, “Water Smart Landscape Makeover.”

San Diego's Population Declines: US Census Data

Larry Cota never thought he would leave California“I was born and raised in California,” said Cota.But a year ago, Cota and his wife decided to move to Nevada. Both retired and living on a fixed income they knew they could no longer afford to live in their home state.“The biggest savings for us is no state income tax,” said Cota.They’re not the only ones thinking the grass may be greener outside of the golden state.According to the recently released U.S. Census data, San Diego ...

Larry Cota never thought he would leave California

“I was born and raised in California,” said Cota.

But a year ago, Cota and his wife decided to move to Nevada. Both retired and living on a fixed income they knew they could no longer afford to live in their home state.

“The biggest savings for us is no state income tax,” said Cota.

They’re not the only ones thinking the grass may be greener outside of the golden state.

According to the recently released U.S. Census data, San Diego county’s population fell by 11,183 residents from July 2020 to July 2022.

“It really costs a lot to live in California,” said Alan Gin, professor of economics at the University of San Diego.

Gin says the cost of living is the main driver of our state’s declining population but not the only one.

“There's also there was also a decrease in immigration, due to the restrictions in terms of covid,” said Gin.

And then there’s the pandemic.

“We had a shift to remote work due to covid and the shift to remote work then allowed people to have connections with California companies and San Diego companies and yet work in places that that were that were cheaper,” said Gin.

To be clear San Diego isn’t the epicenter of the state’s exodus. According to the California Department of Finance, San Diego's net population loss was only 0.4% of its 3.28 million residents. In comparison, LA country saw a .7% decline and San Francisco saw a .8% fall.

Still, it’s the first time in years that San Diego has lost population year over year.

“It is a concern because we're going to experience the same situation that a lot of businesses are experiencing in the labor market,” said Gin. “Right now, the labor market is really tight."

Luckily Gin doesn’t expect San Diego's population to continue to slide.

“I think we're gonna see things stabilize, I don't think we're going to see a fall continue,” said Gin. “I don't think we're gonna see California depopulated.”

But as far as those who have left, they have plans of coming back.

“I don't think we could ever move back to California,” said Cota. “It just soured us to the point where we, if we moved from here, it'd be a different state.”

Oceanside’s famed ‘Top Gun’ house reopens as nostalgic pie shop

Palm Springs chef Tara Lazar describes her shop in the 1887 Victorian cottage as an homage to Americana and the militaryOCEANSIDE —For much of the past 36 years, Oceanside’s famous “Top Gun” house has been boarded up and moved from place to place as the city’s downtown waterfront exploded with growth.But on Friday, the 135-year-old Victorian cottage that was featured in the 1986 Tom Cruise film “Top Gun,” celebrated its new permanent home and occupant. Now situated in an oceanf...

Palm Springs chef Tara Lazar describes her shop in the 1887 Victorian cottage as an homage to Americana and the military

OCEANSIDE —

For much of the past 36 years, Oceanside’s famous “Top Gun” house has been boarded up and moved from place to place as the city’s downtown waterfront exploded with growth.

But on Friday, the 135-year-old Victorian cottage that was featured in the 1986 Tom Cruise film “Top Gun,” celebrated its new permanent home and occupant. Now situated in an oceanfront lot on the grounds of the year-old Mission Pacific Hotel at 201 N. Myers St., the Top Gun House is now home to HIGH-pie, a nostalgic Americana-inspired pie shop.

On Friday afternoon, a line of customers snaked out the door and down the sidewalk of the shop, which sells fried-to-order hand pies filled with apple or cherry compote and “a la mode” hand pies filled with mascarpone ice cream. The pies are served on a popsicle stick with optional dipping sauces like salted caramel and lemon curd. The shop also sells coffee and other drinks and souvenir T-shirts and hats.

Inside, the cottage is decorated with nautical wallpaper, paintings and needlepoint art of fishing boats and Navy aircraft carriers and posters and photos of Cruise and the movie “Top Gun.”

HIGH-pie is the brainchild of Palm Springs hospitality company owner Tara Lazar. In her native Palm Springs, Lazar owns three restaurants, two bars, a catering company and a hotel.

Before starting her business, F/10, Lazar worked as a trader on the options floor of the stock exchange in San Francisco. When her father became ill, she moved back to Palm Springs to help care for him in 2006 and began working from home as a day trader. She and her husband, commercial real estate businessman Marco Rossetti, always loved restaurants, and opening her own restaurant was always a dream.

“I loved breakfast and my friends would come and visit and we wouldn’t have places to take them, so I got the idea I should open a breakfast place. I started losing more and more money sitting in front of my computer and decided if I’m going to lose money, I might as well go into the restaurant business.”

In 2008, she opened Cheeky’s, a brunch-centric Palm Springs restaurant where everything is made from scratch using locally sourced ingredients and the menu changes weekly. Since then, she has also opened a steakhouse, an Italian restaurant, a cocktail bar, a tiki bar and a catering company. She also owns Alcazar, a 34-room boutique hotel.

For several years, Lazar said she wanted to break into the restaurant business in San Diego, but she struggled to find the right space. Then she connected with S.D. Malkin Properties, the Connecticut-based global retail investment company that built the Mission Pacific Hotel and the adjacent Seabird Resort, which both opened in 2021. Founder Scott Malkin is a fan of the movie “Top Gun,” so as part of the development deal for the 2.75-acre oceanfront property he offered to give the peripatetic Top Gun House a place to stay and a facelift.

Originally known as the Graves House because of its original owner, Dr. Henry Graves, the 500-square-foot house was one of several cottages built along Pacific Street in downtown Oceanside in the 1880s. Over the years, as the downtown area’s commercial district grew, all of the other cottages were torn down. According to local historians, the Graves House had important historic merit because of its age and Folk Victorian architectural style, which is more commonly seen in San Francisco and the Pacific Northwest. As a result, the city purchased the Graves House in the 1980s to protect it from demolition.

Meanwhile, in 1986, “Top Gun” was released to global acclaim. Tom Cruise starred in the movie as a cocky San Diego-based Navy pilot. The Graves House was featured in one scene of the film as the home of Cruise’s onscreen girlfriend, played by actress Kelly McGillis.

In 2019, the home was hoisted up and moved a few blocks away to make way for the hotel’s construction. With the consultation of the Oceanside Historical Society and Save Our Heritage Organisation, S.D. Malkin Properties spent nearly $1 million restoring the home to its original design with a new chimney, refreshed roof and re-creation of its ornate gingerbread filigree along the roofline and porches.

Malkin first hired Lazar to develop the menu for the High/Low café at Mission Pacific Hotel, which she described as a healthier take on the breakfasts surfers eat around the world, like Hawaiian fried rice, Australian corn fritters and Southern California breakfast burritos, but with house-made SPAM and American-style cheese.

Lazar said her concept for HIGH-pie is tied closely to the movie “Top Gun,” American patriotism, the military and the ocean. Because of the shop’s small size, a dessert concept worked best for the space and Lazar said she knew Scott Malkin was a fan of apple pie. So is she.

“I loved the McDonald’s apple pies growing up. I wanted to re-create that in a really nutritious, recognizable-ingredient kind of way, using old-fashioned butter, cup-for-cup flour that’s gluten-free and fillings that are very clean ingredients, like cherry, almond extract and sugar.

The shop will host a grand-opening event on May 20, which is just five days before a long-awaited film sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick,” opens in cinemas.

Managed locally by Elijiah Alexander, HIGH-pie is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The menu can be found at famoushighpie.com.

Creating a cultural hub: UC San Diego opens Park & Market downtown

The $60-million project promises to enhance education, business, art and ideas throughout the region The University of California San Diego’s wish to extend its physical and social reach downtown is now a reality, with the official opening of UC San Diego Park & Market, a four-story building the university and its partners anticipate will become a cultural hub for the region.As its title indicates, the 66,750-square-foot structure is located just steps from the Blue Line Trolley at the corner of Park Boulevard and M...

The $60-million project promises to enhance education, business, art and ideas throughout the region

The University of California San Diego’s wish to extend its physical and social reach downtown is now a reality, with the official opening of UC San Diego Park & Market, a four-story building the university and its partners anticipate will become a cultural hub for the region.

As its title indicates, the 66,750-square-foot structure is located just steps from the Blue Line Trolley at the corner of Park Boulevard and Market Street in the East Village, offering access from the university’s La Jolla campus to the north and all the way to the U.S border with Mexico to the south.

With ambitions that go beyond merely acting as an extension of the famed research university, UC San Diego Park & Market is designed as a place where education, business, art and ideas can intersect.

“Park & Market was created to assemble many uniquely talented contributors from all over our region,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, and to develop “something greater than they could do on their own or that we at UC San Diego could do on our own ... That is what a great university does and that’s who we are.”

The university expects to engage more than 10,000 people across the area each year, but the new facility promises to be more than just an academic setting.

“The whole idea of this is a place where people who were previously geographically isolated can now come together, be co-located and bump into one another,” said Mary Walshok, UC San Diego’s associate vice chancellor for public programs.

The building hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday featuring campus and community officials. On Saturday, doors opened to the general public, with an estimated crowd of about 300 sauntering through. Some families brought their children to sign up for the San Diego Public Library’s summer reading program.

Park & Market cost about $65 million — $40 million to construct and roughly $25 million for interior work — with no money from state funding. Philanthropists and foundations accounted for about $10 million, and the rest was funded by UC San Diego Regents.

“It’s not coming from tax dollars,” said Hugo Villar, dean of UC San Diego’s Division of Extended Studies. “I think it’s a very important signal to the community because we want to participate in the economic vibrancy of the region, and downtown is a central piece of that.”

On the outside, the building is enclosed in a glass façade, featuring a dual-sided video wall 25 feet tall that projects images onto the street outside and into a first-floor reception area, not far from a twisting, circular staircase that takes visitors to the second floor.

There, a gallery space opens up for art installations and the entrance to a 58-seat movie theater that shows independent and foreign films every day of the week.

“We gravitate toward films that won’t get screened in other multiplexes,” said Moises Esparza, exhibitions manager for Digital Gym Cinema, the theater’s operator. “And we want to encourage people to come back to the movies ... Watching films on your couch is cool, but it’s better to watch them communally, with friends.”

Outdoors, an amphitheater provides a venue for music, dance and special events. The Young Lions Jazz Conservancy, taught by noted San Diego trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos, performed Saturday, for example.

The third and fourth floors offer areas for classrooms, a computer lab, workforce training and offices for a range of local organizations that include the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, the San Diego Workforce Partnership and the County of San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce.

“Too often, you have these large community organizations meaning well, doing great work,” said Bruce Mayberry, chairman of the Black Chamber. “But it’s sort of out of sight, out of mind. They don’t mean to not include us, it’s just we’re not there. So the fact that we have an office in the building gives us a chance to run into each other in the elevators, at the watercoolers ... and just be more involved in the process.”

Local philanthropists Malin and Roberta Burnham committed $3 million to support a partnership between the university and the Burnham Center for Community Advancement. Housed at Park & Market, the center describes itself as a “think-and-do tank” aimed making the bi-national region “a better place to live, work and play for all.”

David and Claire Guggenheim gave $1 million to Park & Market, and a 225-seat black box theater on the first floor that can be used for performances, lectures and teaching is named after them.

“We’re coming out of two years of COVID, and where are all the personal interactions and community building? It’s at these arts and cultural events,” said Andrew Waltz, Park & Market’s director of arts management. “I can’t tell you how many events I’ve been to in the past couple of weeks where people are ready to build community and get back to life that makes them feel fulfilled, and it’s places like this that provide those connections.”

The hub aims to enhance relations on both sides of the border through partnerships with the UC San Diego Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and CETYS Universidad, a university based in Baja California that is accredited in California.

“By being here, many students from the South Bay and further south are going to feel a connection with the university, which is less transactional and more transformational,” Villar said.

In the process, the establishment of Park & Market also figures to give the downtown area an economic boost and an opportunity for revitalization in the East Village.

“Our mission is economic development and cultural vitality, and UC San Diego coming to downtown really fulfills that mission,” said Betsy Brennan, CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership. “We’re going to have students, we’re going to have walkability, we’re going to have programming. It’s going to be an amazing asset to downtown San Diego.”

Staff writer Gary Robbins contributed to this story.

Bombing Suspects Threw Explosives From Car During Chase: San Diego SD

Authorities arrested three suspects in connection with San Diego County bombing spree following a dramatic chase Saturday.VISTA, CA — Two men and a woman were arrested Saturday in connection with Wednesday's string of explosions in Vista, authorities said.Valentin Castaneda, 25, was taken into custody on suspicion of possessing a destructive device near a church and on public streets, possessing material with intent to make explosives, exploding a device with intent to terrify, felony evading and child endangerment said...

Authorities arrested three suspects in connection with San Diego County bombing spree following a dramatic chase Saturday.

VISTA, CA — Two men and a woman were arrested Saturday in connection with Wednesday's string of explosions in Vista, authorities said.

Valentin Castaneda, 25, was taken into custody on suspicion of possessing a destructive device near a church and on public streets, possessing material with intent to make explosives, exploding a device with intent to terrify, felony evading and child endangerment said Lt. David Buether of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department's Bomb/Arson Unit.

Juan Jose Castaneda Santiago, 23, and Caleigh Tabler, 21, were arrested on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact and child endangerment.

Deputies responded to three locations in three hours Wednesday following reports of explosions at the following time and locations:

-- 11:30 a.m. in the 900 block of East Vista Way;

-- 1:24 p.m. in the 100 block of East Drive;

-- 2:41 p.m. in the 400 block of East Drive.

A citizen who shared surveillance video from a security camera with sheriff's detectives helped identify a black car seen in one of the locations of the blast, Buether said.

Sheriff's detectives spotted the car in the early hours Saturday in the 1200 block of North Santa Fe Avenue. Deputies with the Vista Patrol Station tried to pull the car over, but the driver took off.

During the two-mile pursuit, passengers started throwing explosive devices out of the car's window, Buether said. Detectives with the Sheriff's Bomb/Arson Unit collected two explosive devices along the pursuit route and rendered them safe, he added.

The car stopped in the 1800 block of Queens Way in an unincorporated area of Vista. A search warrant was served for the car and at a house in the 1200 block of North Santa Fe Avenue.

Additional explosive devices, bomb-making materials, rifles, handguns and ammunition were seized, authorities said.

Three children, a 14-year-old boy, a 7-year-old girl and a baby were found unhurt in the house. San Diego County Child Protective Services was notified and relatives took custody of the children.

The investigation was continuing, but authorities said there appeared to be no specific target for the explosions.

No one was hurt and no property was damaged in the incidents.

All three suspects will be booked at the Vista Detention Facility.

City News Service

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