The lower price of rent might have attracted you to Ballpark Place, but just remember you get what you pay for. Besides the maintenance man who was always helpful and friendly, this apartment community is riddled with problems; the major ones can be found in the list below.
1.Dishonest and disorganized management: they are all smiles and may seem to be professionals, but behind this facade is just another shark hungry for your money. Just recently they switched from Hoban to Torrey Pines Management, both of which provide shoddy service. The manager is difficult to get ahold of, office hours are inconsistent, and information is not passed on from one staff member to another. Also, get everything in writing, even a receipt that rent payment was received, otherwise management will exploit and the item might somehow miraculously disappear, and guess who is going to have to pay? Upon move out, be sure that the manager will be present so he can go through the move out inspection with you (not one of his henchmen who supposedly is not capable of doing the inspection), otherwise you might be billed for a mess that was either never there or that you could have cleaned yourself, had you known it wasn't to their liking.
2.Loud and rude/unfriendly neighbors: the apartment units are cramped together and because of thin walls and poor insulation, loud neighbors are heard, especially during the evening hours. Many of the residents are in the military, which means you might just be living next to some primitive yokel from god knows where who plays loud war video games with the windows open, stares through your windows when marching by (walkways are located directly in front of the residents' front windows), or has eight or so friend's over for the week who party it up till the late hours of the night and don't clean up after themselves in the barbecue area. Or if you are as lucky as I was, you might live right next door to a schizophrenic who shouts and curses at her cat at random hours, which is especially enjoyable waking to. Everyone here is unanimous and it is a rarity you can make eye contact with another, or even get a greeting out of them. Oh, and be sure to guard your laundry as it might be removed from the washer and be found scrunched up on top of the machine, even if it is left five minutes after finishing. You will also want to check the washer for dog hair before putting clothing in it. Lastly, you might have to avoid pet feces or vomit that are left in front of your door by careless neighbors. It actually took the management three days to clean up one such occurrence.
3.Unsafe: some of the front windows don't have latches so they can be slid open at any time if the screen is popped off. A security code is required to open the front gate, but apparently some non-residents also know the code, as was the case when one such guest entered and pulled the fire alarm at 2 am, thus waking the whole complex after 40 minutes of constant ringing. Also noteworthy is the drug trafficking that takes place on the street, fights in the common areas, and occasional domestic violence resulting in police and paramedic response.
4.Slummy: as is obvious, there is an abundance of homeless that call the area home. This is the soup kitchen center of the city, which attracts the population, as well as the Neil Good Day Center located DIRECTLY behind the building. I didn't have too much of a problem with this initially, but after a while, stepping over passed-out bodies, holding breath to avoid the stench, and trying to avoid harassing substance abusers got old.
5.Plumbing issues: apparently some of the fire sprinklers located inside of the units are faulty, as one unit was flooded for a good thirty minutes before the leak could be stopped. The resident ended up having to move to another unit because of the immense damage done.
Conclusion: downtown has a lot to offer and can be a nice place to call home; but do look for an apartment a few streets in (14th St and westerly) and pay a bit more. You will get much more for your money and be able to live more comfortably.