Ten Space is a development group investing in renovation of downtown Stockton with its Open Window Project, which was recently approved by Stockton City Council on Feb. 23 with a 6-0 vote.
“The goal is create 1000 residential units as well as 400,000 square feet of retail space,” said Ten Space Director of Community Development David Garcia.
The project is to span 12 un-continuous acres of downtown Stockton from Miner Avenue in the north, Sutter Street to the west, Main Street to the south and Aurora Street to the east.
Ten Space is working with private investors with a grass-roots movement to bring in new business and housing.
The project has no public funding.
Channel Brewing and Papa Urbs are already invested in the project. Non profits are signing up. Huddle, a community coworking location, is also buying in.
The goal is to provide housing and business space for the community while creating a walkable and vibrant downtown area, to change the pessimistic view of Stockton.
The changes create an urban feel with housing and nightlife.
The approval moves forward seeking to achieve something not yet done in the city of Stockton: Merging a new look with the old historic feel and presence while creating a better environment and new job opportunities.
The project “could last anywhere from 7-10 years” said Garcia when asked about the time span with “site preparation and designing over the next 30-60 days with architects and engineers.”
The plan draws inspiration from revitalized downtown areas from other cities such as Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento and Portland.
Stockton’s original downtown look will mix with new designs by re-using historic buildings that can’t be architecturally replicated.
“It’s about blending in to what we already have in downtown and mixing to the urban fabric we already have today,” said Garcia.
A major issue is the current look of downtown that is rampant with homelessness.
During the city council meeting Mayor Anthony Silva addressed this by saying, “we can make downtown beautiful, which I believe you guys are going to do, and I strongly believe it. But there has to be a commitment from city council, downtown Stockton and Stockton residents that we are truly going to address that issue. We’ve got to address it, we can’t just punt it anymore.”
Garcia said that’s one of the most difficult aspects of the project – working with lifelong Stocktonians who “have a negative view of downtown and think Stockton is unsafe.”
The plan is underway, and scheduling begins full development at the end of this year.
“Changing people’s perspectives, that’s been our biggest challenge, convincing people it’s worth your time and it’s worth investing,” said Garcia.