Downtown Bakersfield revival gaining traction

Downtown Bakersfield revival gaining traction »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Things are looking up for downtown Bakersfield.

“People remember downtown of 10 years ago where there were shootings. That’s gone,” said Don Martin, president and creative director of The Metro Galleries.

Ruth Darrington has had a store on 19th Street for four years. It’s just a few steps from two of the newest downtown developments.

“We’re growing, and I think we’re going to the next level,” she said.

Across the street from her store are the new 1612 City Lofts.

The new lofts are going into downtown’s oldest building. The Hay building was built in 1893.

“Hopefully, people will see this loft project and be excited about it,” said Martin.

Martin said three new restaurants have opened in the last month. The Mark is a steak and seafood restaurant across the street from the City Lofts. The restaurant opened Aug. 2.

“The owners liked downtown, they see it’s going in a positive direction and wanted to be a part of it,” said Executive Chef Ro Fernandez.

And then there’s the Padre Hotel.

The sidewalk is the newest renovation for downtown’s centerpiece. Martin said the $22 million project to renovate the hotel is part of the reason people have a new feeling about downtown.

“The Padre was the tipping point,” Martin said.

With new restaurants, new lofts and new sidewalks, Martin said he has hopes to maintain momentum.

“We hope other developers will look at this and want to continue along this path of urban living development,” he said.