The San Diego City Council has voted on Tuesday, Oct. 20 to designate a pan-Asian cultural and business hub located at the Convoy District in Kearny Mesa. This area has been named and officially chosen by the city council as the “Convoy Pan Asian Cultural and Business Innovation District” to signify the culture and diversity in San Diego.
Councilman Chris Cate represents Kearny Mesa in District 6 and said that the pan-Asian moniker is to bring attention to the area with its many businesses and diverse representation.
“In that area based on the business owners and types of businesses that exist, we’re just here to celebrate that and promote that,” Cate said in an interview with The UCSD Guardian. “[The designation will] also help bring attention to the fact that the Asian Pacific Islander community within San Diego is very strong and that this area helps represent that.”
The Convoy District was chosen mainly to signify the area as an all-inclusive Asian cultural hub for locals and tourists who visit. It is well-known for its growing restaurant and entertainment businesses. Over the last number of decades, immigrants that became business owners “gravitated to the area” to find opportunities to promote the Asian Pacific Islander community, according to Cate.
“As a whole we started getting really amazing businesses and restaurants and entertainment type of businesses to locate there,” Cate said. “Consumers really started gravitating towards that area.”
The city plans on raising funds to put up a marquee and other identification signs over the Convoy street and freeway to bring recognition to this neighborhood and even possibly attract more tourists. Cate said that through additional efforts from the community, they will be able to “raise the profile” of the district.
As the Convoy District starts to become an official hub in San Diego, students at UC San Diego will be able to visit the nearby area and find a number of diverse establishments.
“I am personally incredibly ecstatic at the thought of Convoy getting the status it deserves,” Eleanor Roosevelt College sophomore Sophia Sumaray, the UCSD Fundraising Coordinator for Asian and Pacific Islander Student Alliance, said. “Its mixture of classic dishes and modern takes gives a little bit of something to everyone. International and domestic students from Asia come to get a piece of home.”
Many Asian American and international students from Asia have found Convoy businesses to be a familiar representation of their culture and community in San Diego. The official designation of the area will perceive the district as a cultural and business region similar to the many recognizable and popular locations in the city.
“That above everything else is the goal of Convoy, is to help promote and celebrate the rich diversity that we have in this city,” Cate said.
In the next few years, the city of San Diego Planning Department plans multiple updates in the Kearny Mesa community, involving possible neighborhood building and strategies to develop the land.
Photo courtesy of Mariyah Shad for The UCSD Guardian.