The College Area Community is located in the central part of the City of San Diego, along the southern rim of Mission Valley and approximately 8 miles northeast of the downtown area. It is a residential community, which is also home to San Diego State University.
The College Area Community developed slowly during the early 1930s. The first subdivision maps occurred along El Cajon Boulevard and along Adams Avenue in the vicinity of 55th Street, in the vicinity of 63rd and Stewart streets and along Cresita Drive, Lindo Paseo and Hardy Avenue. In 1931, the State Teachers College (later San Diego State University) relocated in the College Area from its former Normal Street location.
El Cajon Boulevard is a historic commercial district through the college area community and was once the primary transportation route from San Diego to El Cajon and Arizona, before the construction of Interstate 8. The postwar desire for suburban living and the completion of Interstate 8 in the late 1950s further contributed to the growth of the community and University, but contributed to the loss of commercial businesses which relocated to Mission Valley.
Redevelopment of SDSU and University controlled property, beginning in the 1990s, caused intensification of uses in the community near the campus, which is ongoing and includes the extension of the San Diego Trolley through the community with two stations: one on campus at SDSU and one opposite Alvarado Hospital on Alvarado Road. A second redevelopment project is currently proposed, which would redevelop the commercial core along El Cajon Boulevard.