Little Italy Breaks Ground on New Public Piazza on December 1


 Little Italy Breaks Ground on New Public Piazza on December 1

-Piazza Famiglia, Little Italy’s most enterprising project yet, will be located on West Date Street, creating a gathering space for residents in the heart of the neighborhood-

SAN DIEGO (November 17, 2014) – The Little Italy Association, in partnership with H.G Fenton Company, will officially break ground on Piazza Famiglia on Monday, December 1, at 10:00 a.m. This new project will transform West Date Street, between Columbia Street and India Street, into a 10,000-square-foot public piazza to serve the Little Italy community.

“This is going to be a special place for San Diego,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “Piazza Famiglia will serve as a thriving community center that brings people from all walks of life together to enjoy our great urban core. I am excited to break ground on what will become another community gem that reminds all of us why San Diego is a world-class city.”

The project was inspired by the grand piazzas of Italy and Europe and will feature classic Italian architectural details and design. The Piazza will include attractive landscaping with a grand water feature and inviting seating and gathering areas.  The European-style piazza will become the new “heart” of Little Italy and a central community gathering space to host farmers’ markets, concerts and cultural events. It is scheduled to open in 2016. 

Piazza Famiglia was approved by the City Council in July 2014 and is the result of years of collaboration among the City of San Diego, Little Italy Association, Civic San Diego, H.G. Fenton Company and the Little Italy community.  Mayor Faulconer and Council President Todd Gloria, who represents the community of Little Italy, will participate in the groundbreaking, along with representatives from the Little Italy Association. The Little Italy community was instrumental in the project’s design and approval.   

“Piazza Famiglia will serve as a hub for residents and visitors alike to enjoy all that Little Italy has to offer,” said Council President Gloria. “This project truly reflects what it means for a community to come together to turn a vision into reality. All of this was made possible only because of many people and organizations working hand-in-hand to better our community.”

The ground breaking ceremony will take place on West Date Street at the intersection of India Street in Little Italy. Led by H.G. Fenton President and CEO Mike Neal, and featuring commencement words from Mayor Faulconer, Council President Todd Gloria and Little Italy Association Chief Executive Administrator Marco Li Mandri, the ceremony will be a symbolic milestone of Little Italy San Diego’s ever-growing evolvement and its urban modernization.

“This full-block piazza will be Little Italy’s cornerstone and a destination in the community that not only residents will spend time in, but one we hope visitors from far and wide will travel specifically to see,” explains Marco Li Mandri, Little Italy Association’s Chief Executive Administrator. “Public areas, parks and community areas are what make a neighborhood a home, and Little Italy has been creating these central meeting areas for years. It’s what sets us apart from other urban neighborhoods, and it’s what makes our neighborhood a coveted, desirable and truly iconic location.”

Piazza Famiglia joins several other public spaces in Little Italy, including Piazza Basilone on West Fir Street and India Street. It will be dedicated to the families who banded together to create Little Italy decades ago, to today’s residents, who have helped to create the Little Italy we know and love today, and to the families that will set their roots in Little Italy in the future.

“We are privileged to be part of such a transformational project that the Little Italy community and San Diego residents will enjoy for generations,” said H.G. Fenton President Mike Neal. “Piazza Famiglia is the result of what can be achieved through community collaboration, and we are proud to be breaking ground on a project that will bring the community’s vision to life.”

About Little Italy Association (LIA)

A nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation for the public’s benefit, the Little Italy Association (LIA) advocates on behalf of its members’ best interests in the areas of public safety, beautification, promotion and economic development, while preserving the unique cultural resources that exist in the Little Italy neighborhood of Downtown San Diego. LIA stands as the only district management corporation of its kind for any Little Italy neighborhood in the United States and is run by a Board of Directors encompassing 28 people who represent property owners, residents, businesses and community at large. More information can be found by visiting or by calling (619) 233-3898.

About H.G. Fenton 

H.G. Fenton Company, a family-owned San Diego real estate company, has proudly entered its second century of service providing quality working and living experiences through responsible development and management practices. H.G. Fenton Company creates lifestyle opportunities where employees flourish, residents live well, and businesses succeed for over 1,100 businesses, and across 13 apartment communities totaling over 3,200 homes in San Diego County.  For more information, visit