Located in the very heart of San Diego County, Mira Mesa (pop. 80,000+), is the largest of the county’s communities. Sometimes referred to by residents as “The Mecca” due to its central location, this community covers 10,500 acres and is situated between Interstate Highway 15 to the east and I-805 to the west. Also located at its west end is Sorrento Valley, an important business and technology park and major area employer. On Mira Mesa’s northern border lies the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. At the community’s southern end is Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
The military was very influential in the establishment and early development of Mira Mesa. During the World War II era, the area served mainly as an airfield and training center. In the 1950’s, building began in Mira Mesa largely to house service, members stationed at NAS Miramar, site of the Navy’s Top Gun School. The 1960’s saw a great residential building boom in the community sparked in large part by its central location and proximity to Downtown San Diego, and residential building continued steadily over the next few decades. Meanwhile, the community’s demographic make-up diversified greatly to include students, singles, families, techies and a large contingent of Filipino and Vietnamese residents. Blending in with all this diversification, many military families still call Mira Mesa home.
Since the late 1990’s, building in Mira Mesa has continued at a rapid rate, but with a special emphasis on the business/commercial and industrial sectors as well as community services and infrastructure. A commuter train linking Mira Mesa and the rest of San Diego County has come into service. The community boasts eight parks, numerous recreation, teen and senior centers, an aquatic complex, an ice arena and a large, world-class movie theatre. It also features a multitude of shopping centers, a wide variety of restaurants (many serving ethnic cuisines) and many ethnic markets. Home building continues, of course, with many residents enjoying city or canyon views. At the same time, developers are paying special attention to the growth of the infrastructure and services needed by Mira Mesa in order for its residents to live prosperously and comfortably. From its military roots, Mira Mesa has truly grown into a “full-service” community.