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Canopy of lights to add sparkle to University Avenue in Hillcrest

SAN DIEGO -- A canopy of lights will soon hang over University Avenue in Hillcrest, as the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) board voted last night to approve a project to add sparkle to one of the neighborhood’s main thoroughfares.

The Hillcrest Light Canopy Project will install 14 strings of festoon lighting -- attached to the buildings on each side of the block -- over University Avenue between Fourth and Fifth avenues. The lights will include technology to allow the light colors to be changed remotely or set on a programmable schedule.

The idea for the project came from HBA's Beautification Committee and other board members, who have been working on a number of projects to improve the aesthetics of the neighborhood. Recent HBA projects include the 2011 installation of a new Hillcrest sign; the Hillcrest Pride Flag unveiling in July; and potted plants on some light poles throughout the neighborhood earlier this summer.

"We're thrilled to bring this project into the heart of Hillcrest and enhance the pedestrian experience as we continue to improve the business district," HBA said in a Facebook post today.

The HBA represents over 1,300 businesses acting as a liaison between the business community and the city, and encourages economic development for the Hillcrest area through events and promotions. Founded in 1921, HBA is the oldest business association in San Diego.

A similar lighting canopy was installed in Denver's Larimer Square during that city's efforts to restore its once blighted downtown area.

All costs for the Hillcrest Light Canopy Project will be paid for by HBA, and installation work will occur after hours to lessen impact on traffic.

More information about the proposal is available HERE.