STOCKTON, Calif. — They are literally pillars of the community, standing tall at Stockton's City Hall. But one day, the historic structure on N. El Dorado Street could become home to 40-45 apartments, retail space and more.
"So, we would look at taking the top two floors of City Hall and turning those into studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom loft-style apartments," said Mahala Burns, Broker for Cort Companies.
Cort Companies of Stockton is the developer behind the proposal. They have renovated several old buildings, like their century-old 10-story headquarters on East Main Street, a former bank building, just blocks from City Hall.
When City Hall workers move down the street to the Waterfront Towers office buildings perhaps in a year or more, the 1926 building would otherwise sit empty.
"We need housing. So, it really makes sense. We haven't built anything because of the bankruptcy. We just kind of stopped building residential," added Burns.
It's not just City Hall that will be transformed. Right across the street, three buildings will be replaced and leveled with two new buildings with 40 apartments in each.
"So it provides a really wonderful, walkable city, which is really what we are after," Burns said.
"I think having market rate apartments, getting people to live downtown, so they live, work and play, is a great plan for the revitalization of Stockton Downtown," said City of Stockton Economic Development Department Director Carrie Wright.
And what do some of the people think?
"Well, I just think that it's a beautiful building. I'm glad they're going to, you know, make some good use out of it," said Stockton resident Eileen Byrd.
"I like it the way it is. I think it's like a historical thing to me and I like it. I think it should stay the same," said Sanipha Kham, who also lives in Stockton.
If a negotiation agreement is reached, Cort Companies would have six months to convince the city their plans make sense to revitalize the building. Cort said, once the process of getting permits and other red tape is approved, it should take about a year to finish the renovations. The two new buildings across the street will take longer to complete.
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