The future of Downtown Stockton starts today

I first started SCL three years ago with a goal: to get people talking about the revitalization of Stockton, downtown in particular. My topics ranged from walkability, historic preservation and the economic benefits of investment in existing urban areas over paving over farm land. About two years ago, I was introduced to Zac Cort of The Cort Group (now Ten Space).  Zac was beginning to put together the pieces of a major downtown development. Over the following year, Zac and I both quickly realized that we shared a passion for creating vibrant urban places, and he offered me an opportunity to join the team.

At this point, I’d said everything I could to convince people that building in Downtown Stockton was hands down the best way to transform my hometown. I had a choice: I could keep writing about downtown, about walkability and a Stockton revival, or I could take an active role in building it myself.

I decided it was time to put my money where my mouth was, to walk the walk. I joined Zac and Tim Egkan one year ago to start turning my words into reality, and I’ve been humbled to be a part of such a passionate and experienced team. Over the past 12 months, Ten Space has been working diligently towards a vision of a thriving and vibrant Downtown Stockton.

And one year later, we’re taking a big step forward.

As reported by The Record, Ten Space is proposing a landmark development for Downtown Stockton. Up to 1,400 residences, 200,000 square feet of retail, 110,000 of light manufacturing, and 90,000 of office space to be woven into the existing core of Downtown connected by pedestrian-friendly streets, parklets, bike lanes and trees. Old, forgotten buildings will be given new life wherever possible, and new buildings will finally grace Stockton’s long stagnant skyline.

Ten Space's Open Window Project proposes to transform a 15 block area of Downtown Stockton

Ten Space’s Open Window Project proposes to transform a 15 block area of Downtown Stockton

The Open Window Project envisions a vibrant, eclectic neighborhood where Stocktonians from all walks of life can interact, live and enjoy the best that the city has to offer. From young professionals to artists to retirees to low income families, Downtown Stockton will be the place in Stockton where everyone—regardless of age or occupation—will come together and live. Our project will transform our Downtown into the beating heart that our city deserves.

This is just the first step in a long road. This transformation will not occur overnight

I started SCL to get the people of Stockton talking about the revitalization of their city, and it’s my pledge that the development and implementation of our downtown plan will occur in an open and inclusive process—that’s my job as Ten Space’s Director of Community Development. Ultimately, the transformation of Downtown Stockton cannot take place unless there is strong community participation in our project. For too long, developers in Stockton have taken a top-down approach to development of farmland. Our project will be different. It has to be. The rejuvenation of Downtown Stockton is too important to leave in the hands of a select few. We welcome and encourage any and all comments, suggestions or feedback as we work to develop what our downtown will look like. Over the next few months, TenSpace will host a series of community meetings to solicit input and explain our project to the public, while we’ll also employ technology to collect feedback from those who cannot attend these meetings.

I am beyond excited to be part of the team bringing this project to Stockton.. As we begin to improve our city, I encourage all SCL readers to remain engaged.  In three years of writing SCL, one thing has become very clear: Stocktonians agree that it’s time for Downtown Stockton to finally realize its true potential to take its place as the premiere urban destination in the Central Valley. And I truly believe that our project will do just that.


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Categories: Community Commentary, Development News

Author:David A. Garcia

David A. Garcia created SCL in March of 2012. Garcia is a Stockton native with a background in urban policy and planning, holding a Bachelor's Degree from UCLA as well as a Master's Degree in Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies. He currently serves as the Policy Director at the UC Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation. David was also COO at Ten Space, a real estate development firm focused exclusively on Downtown Stockton, and continues to advise on their projects. Prior to that, he worked three years as a researcher/analyst for a Congressional research agency in Washington, DC. The views expressed on this site are entirely of the author's

11 Comments on “The future of Downtown Stockton starts today”

  1. Ned Leiba
    March 23, 2015 at 9:09 am #


    Encourage the City and other downtown government entities to adopt incentives for their employees to live downtown, and then their will be hope.

  2. Anthony
    March 23, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    I am beyond excited about the Open Window Project. When and where will the community meetings be hosted?

    • David A. Garcia
      March 24, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

      Thanks, Anthony. The community meetings are still being developed, but you can visit for updates. I’m looking forward to sharing this with everyone.

  3. March 23, 2015 at 11:57 am #

    Very exciting news.

  4. March 23, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

    Been waiting to here those words spoken for a long time. Pedestrian friendly streets, parklets, bike lanes…oh my. I know urban design will be at the forefront of Ten Space development. Just looking at Ten Space’s website you really get the feeling of what they are trying to accomplish. I truly think this will finally get the ball rolling. It is very true that once private investors make some waves, other investors will surely follow. That is the hope at least. Great news!!

  5. Jon Seisa
    March 23, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

    Splendid news, David, and so wonderful to hear!

    Don’t forget plazas/fountains, enough seating to rest and public art/sculpture at promontory locations and public restrooms.

    Try to get a high-tech satellite tenant or startup somewhere into the site, or the presence of an institution branch… which will attract the new savvy urban youth.

    Much success on this… and many more to follow!

  6. March 24, 2015 at 12:34 am #

    Well Done Ten Space.
    An Exciting Opportunity for a Downtown Renaissance
    Wonderful News, David

  7. Jon Seisa
    March 24, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    …and hopefully, David, this will be a demonstrative clue to the short-sighted developers in the area of what Smart-Growth urban design innovation can be done and accomplished in Stockton resulting in robust economic vitality, magnetic destination and social-community vibrance, rather than the typical and archaic business as usual with their sprawl gone amok visionless plans of endless concrete and asphalt insulated and isolated sardine-packed single-family-dwelling communities (a relic from the last century), designed to keep the public out, while simultaneously skyrocketing carbon emissions to new highs.

  8. Jon Seisa
    April 9, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

    It would be very dynamic and stunning if this project reconverted Channel Street back to a channel waterway as it originally was with gondolas and water taxis… this is how I have always imagined the reclamation of this street; and line it with cobblestone walks for strolling, and feature quaint and charming boutiques, shops, cafes, bistros, art galeries, and upper artist lofts. Opulent shaded foliage and urban landscaping would create a serene and romantic ambience featuring gas lamps with floral hanging baskets, and arched pedestrian bridges, as well. It could route to the train station at the eastern end and perhaps feature a couple of 4-star hotels for visiting tourists and conference-goers.

  9. anthony
    January 5, 2016 at 10:49 pm #

    This seems like a great idea, and what about adding to Stockton’s skyline ? building somewhat skyscraper buildings and building cheap apartments for residents in downtown. Also establishing a place where people could go and shop such as streets with a variety of stores and resturants, and a center surrounded by stores and restaurants.

  10. Leonel Alan Martinez
    May 28, 2016 at 9:13 am #

    This is such a great proposition and such a dream hopefully coming true to see my city of birth and hometown finally get a real and deserving uplift. All my life, my beloved Stockton has gotten such a bad rap on the news and amongst people I met in other cities because of the news reporting only the violence in this city but I was born and raised on the East and South sides of Stockton where it’s allegedly very bad but I never got involved in that and it never took my life as it did most my cousins and friends. RIP. Stockton has tremendous potential and reviving the original channel street waterway and that boutique idea as well as adding dance clubs and a real night life aside from the skyscrapers and apartments will be great. You have my full support and as an aspiring actor, if I make it, I will do my part like Dallas Braden, and the Diaz brothers did to always mention our city’s name and be proud to say I’m from the 209 Stockton, California… I’ll stay informed about your progress SCL! God Bless and God Speed…

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