The centerpiece of College Grove, a centrally located San Diego community, is San Diego State University. The community derived its name from the institution for higher learning, known in its earlier years as San Diego State College. The institution continues to influence the area, keeping its real estate market healthy.
Condo prices start in the low- to mid- $100,000s, with several two-bedroom condo sales recently in the mid-$200,000 range; single family three-bedroom homes start in the mid-$300,000s, and range up to $1.95 million. Average list price is currently $445,000; the average sales price for single family homes is right at the $550,000 mark; for condos, sales are averaging $276,000. Much of the condo activity is due to parents buying college housing for their children as investments, rather than paying dorm prices.
But there’s more to the College Grove neighborhood besides the university. College Grove offers antique stores, a farmers market, and a small casino. El Cajon Boulevard serves as the shopping district for the College area and has undergone redevelopment and the addition of a new supermarket and many new shops and restaurants.
Marketplace at the Grove is a new shopping center that has been created from the old College Grove shopping center, with Wal-Mart, Target, Sam's Club, Staples, Starbucks, 24-Hour Fitness, and Jamba Juice. Located at Hwy 94 and College Avenue, it also includes a multiplex theater, Grove Bowling Center, and Mervyn's.
Adjacent to Marketplace at the Grove are Chollas Park and Chollas Heights Reservoir, favorite places in College Grove. A tiny (16-acre) lake serves as urban oasis, but what makes this park unique is that fishing is allowed ONLY for kids under 15 years. Free fishing clinics are conducted, and day camps for kids are offered. Basketball courts and playgrounds are available; picnic areas are shaded by stands of eucalyptus trees.