Update to South Mill Creek Vision Plan also approved
For the past 10 years the City of Bakersfield has worked to bring in new construction projects to revitalize the Mill Creek area of Downtown Bakersfield in an effort to bring new and exciting entertainment and commercial options to residents and visitors.
On Wednesday, July 15, the City Council – by a 5-0 vote, with two absent – approved the Letter of Intent for the sale of a vacant five-acre parcel of land at the northeast corner of California Avenue and P Street to developer ME Development Company, LLC, kicking off the final step in the City’s Mill Creek Vision Plan.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the City, its residents, and the thousands of visitors who come to Bakersfield every year,” said Assistant City Manager Jacqui Kitchen. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with ME Development Company, who has a history of bringing exactly the type of entertainment and commercial venues this part of the City deserves.”
Bakersfield continues to grow, as evidenced by recent building trends, with the City’s population now trending toward young professionals in the Gen Z and Millennial age groups. The new amenities offered by this project would be extremely attractive to residents in these age groups.
Since the early 2000s, the City has had a vision to create a unique area for this part of Downtown Bakersfield, building on a waterfront location close to housing, hotels and entertainment attractions. The location is well-positioned to attract both locals and visitors due to the proximity to the Mechanics Bank Arena, Theater and Convention Center, the Marriott Hotel, Amtrak Station and other amenities.
Over that time, the City has contracted with consulting firm Gensler and Associates to create an updated Master Plan for the Mill Creek area, including updating that plan this past March. In a separate 5-0 vote, the City Council approved Options 1 & 2 in the updated South Mill Creek Master Plan.
ME Development Company is owned by Moctesuma Esparza, who also serves as the Chairman of the Board of the parent company of the Maya Theater and retail spaces to the west of the purchased property. In 2007, ME Development Company developed the Maya Cinemas, making an important investment into the area consistent with the original Mill Creek Vision plan and subsequent growth.
ME Development Company’s plans for the land align with the City’s vision for the South Mill Creek Entertainment District. The company’s proposal for the site includes retail, restaurant, hospitality and mixed-use development, all consistent with the City’s Vision and Master Plan for the area.