Plans underway to revamp downtown Bakersfield

Plans underway to revamp downtown Bakersfield

More than 30,000 people either work or live in downtown Bakersfield. One local group wants to help make the area safer and more entertaining.
BAKERSFIELD, CA- The first step to makeover downtown Bakersfield has been cleared.  The Downtown Business Association said it has cleared the first phase to revamp downtown with preliminary renderings.

It was question members of the DBA asked themselves years ago.

"How do we affect permanent and creative change for our business owners and our property owners in downtown," said Bob Bell president of the Downtown Bakersfield Business Development Corporation.

Now, the DBA says the answer is redevelopment and new development, focusing its efforts starting at 17th through 22nd and F to Q streets.

The Downtown Business Development Corporation has partnered up with southern California architect Randal Jackson to create a vision for downtown.  In it, he outlines five themes to improve downtown including safety and mobility.

"He has now put together preliminary plans and given us a footprint, if you will, of where to go from here," said Bell.

DBDC officials said the preliminary renderings, a $15,000 expense, clears the first phase to revamp downtown, the second and third phase, a $150,000 expense, finishes the urban development plan and once the city adopts it:

"Then we can literally project by project by project pick a project put a cost to it, seek the funding, go to work," said Bell.

Jackson created five themes to reshape downtown including safety. One major issue that came to light included the lack of street lighting.

"Maybe changing to an LED lighting which is a more brighter lighting," said Bell.

The association says there aren't enough parks, and open space. They want to make over sub par landscape including alleys and turn them into places people can enjoy.

Other ideas include a trolley to create more mobility, an amphitheater for community entertainment and increasing parking.

If you would like to help revamp downtown, contact the association at dbassociation@gmail.com 

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