As reported yesterday in the Record, Former Mayor Jimmie Rishwain has thrown a wrench into the highly anticipated plan to bring more children downtown with the K-4 TEAM Charter School. The proposed school seems like a win-win: downtown buildings get reused for constructive purposes, eliminating blight while school children get a new place to learn. However, Rishwain has major qualms with the plan, mostly to do with his own adjacent property. You can read about the specifics here to get up to speed. Continue reading
Driving down highway 99 on a recent trip through the Central Valley, Joe Minicozzi saw a highway sign for downtown Stockton and decided to take a short detour into the city. On his way downtown by way surface streets, Minicozzi witnessed what many Stockton residents deal with on a daily basis: prostitution, homelessness, run-down buildings. Minicozzi sees these kinds of conditions in many of the communities he visits. But instead of judging Stockton based on what he observed on the ground, Minicozzi saw the city’s real potential when he looked up, where tall, historic buildings hide a potential economic boon. It’s these structures, and a return to valuing downtown development, that offer Stockton a path forward. Continue reading
I recently stumbled upon an article from California Home and Design listing the top 25 buildings around the country that deserved to be demolished right now. The article lists a number of different kinds of aesthetically displeasing buildings, from city halls to malls to whole neighborhoods. While browsing some of the worst architectural and functional buildings from around the country, I could not help but wonder, what would a similar list look like if it focused on Stockton? Well, look no further. Using absolutely no real criteria, I have compiled a completely biased list of the top five buildings in Stockton that deserve to be demolished. These are the most unattractive, least functional buildings in the city, according to me. Here they are, in no particular order. Continue reading
For years, Stockton has expanded outward, banking on the proliferation of single family homes and strip malls to keep the city’s coffers full. Last week, city leaders filed for chapter 9, making clear that this economic development strategy is no longer viable. Rather than a continued focus on expanding the city’s footprint, it actually makes more economic sense to focus on infill development. Building densely and reutilizing older buildings in downtown neighborhoods has provided other cities with a tremendous economic advantage outweighing the purported benefits of monstrous shopping centers and subdivisions. I have written before about cities on the East Coast that have reaped the windfalls of prioritizing downtown development, but can such a strategy work in the Central Valley, where sprawl has reigned supreme for 50 years?
Apparently, the answer is yes.