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Get The Scoop On San Diego Construction Projects Via New Website

Credit: Brian Grapes, San Diego Streets

A photo from the San Diego Streets website shows updates on the construction at Indigo Grill restaurant in Little Italy. The photo was posted May 26, 2014.

Aired 5/28/14 on KPBS News.

A new website called San Diego Streets tells locals about the construction projects in their neighborhood.

Ever walk through your neighborhood and wonder what's going on with the construction projects you see? A new website called San Diego Streets provides just those kinds of updates.

San Diego Streets started a month ago and already is filled with photos. The pictures and short descriptions tell you what's happening with renovations at Indigo Grill restaurant in Little Italy, new condos in Bankers Hill and the old Mandarin House restaurant near Balboa Park.

Brian Grapes, a 27-year-old who moved to San Diego in 2008, started the website.

Grapes has a day job as a database administrator but said he's been spending two hours a day on the site. The goal is not to make money. It's just to show locals what's going on in their neighborhoods.

"I have always just been interested in what's happening in my neighborhood, and I don't think I'm the only one," Grapes said. "I'm always wondering what's happening behind construction walls. And so I thought this would be a cool way to take photos of those places and share what I'm finding on my own."

He said he takes walks after work in his Cortez Hill neighborhood and always notices construction projects. He started taking pictures of them, and now posts those photos on his website. If he hears about development in other neighborhoods, he also might make a special trip to document it.

"I'm always seeing these things around town anyway, so now I'm just taking my camera with me," Grapes said.

He said he has opinions on some types of development, particularly those that favor pedestrians and cyclists, and his website may sometimes share those opinions. But, he said, the site won't be political.

"I don’t want it to be something that takes itself too seriously," he said. "I want it to be like a conversation from one neighbor to another."

For now, Grapes is focusing on uptown and downtown neighborhoods, and aims to showcase projects that San Diego locals will care about.

"We all know the big tourist attractions out there, like the zoo and our beaches and Old Town, but this is really something I want to be for locals," he said. "I want it to be something your neighbor might tell you about, like an insider’s guide to what’s happening in your neighborhood."

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