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New Convoy district highway sign represents decades of culture and history

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Convoy Asian Cultural District highway sign will be installed this week.
Photo by Joseph Pagio Photography

For many San Diegans, the growing spotlight on the history and culture of the Convoy District is personal. Wesley Quach said he has fond memories of visiting the area to shop for groceries, celebrate a wedding, and go to work.

“The changes in the Convoy area over the years have been amazing,” said Quach. “As a native San Diegan, Convoy has always been a part of my life. I want new visitors to come to the Convoy District with an appreciation of how great the district already is and the potential it has.” I hope.”

New visitors will have the opportunity to spot six new Convoy Asian Cultural District highway signs this week, which will be installed along Interstate 805 North and South. The Convoy District is a 1,600-acre district with more than 1,500 businesses, many of which are Asian-owned.

The highway signs were created after two years of work by the Convoy District Partnership, a nonprofit organization made up of volunteers such as Quach. In 2020, the area was officially recognized as the Convoy Pan-Asian Cultural and Business Innovation District, enabling nonprofits to work with the California Department of Transportation to install highway signage.

From May to June 2022, Convoy District nonprofits raised $31,000 from community members and organizations to fund relevant community programs in Convoy District to purchase and install highway signs .

“These signs appreciate and celebrate Convoy’s rich cultural heritage and history, showing visitors and locals that this is one of San Diego’s hubs for AAPI-owned businesses.” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “This is an important milestone for the region and would not have been possible without the consistent support and advocacy of his leaders and businesses in the community here in Convoy.”

Tim Nguyen, co-chair of the Convoy District Partnership, said the sign will encourage smart growth and development and encourage public investment in the region, including parks, bike schemes, open spaces and transportation.

“These new highway signs will help facilitate visitors and customers to Convoy businesses who have experienced financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Nguyen said. “These signs also help foster new investments, entrepreneurship, and community events in Convoy, which has organically grown to become the heart of his AAPI community of more than 433,000 members in San Diego’s diverse community.” I know it helps.”

Community leaders said highway signs are used to distinguish important historical, cultural and commercial areas. In San Diego, highway signs identify Little Italy, Gaslamp District, Little Saigon, and more.

Quack looks back on the achievements of Tom Hom, the first non-white and first Asian-American elected to the San Diego City Council in 1963.

“I look to the work Tom Homm did in the Gaslamp Quarter in the 70s as an inspiration for what Convoy could become,” said Quack. “There are so many things I want to see in the Convoy area over the next 15 to 20 years, and many of them happening at the same time.”

Kwak said he hopes to improve parking, mobility and walkability. In addition, two properties have been redeveloped into residential apartments, making the area a residential district. He also hopes to find a permanent spot for the popular Night He Market and Food Hall.

“We hope to see more businesses start and thrive here in the Convoy District than we grew up in San Diego,” he said.

For now, Quach and Nguyen thank the community for their investment in Convoy District.

“As a family born in San Diegan, we have a small business in the area and have even had a wedding at Convoy. It means a lot to us,” Nguyen said. “Thank you to the 100+ people who made this happen.”

For more information on the Convoy District, visit convoydistrict.com.