BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — UPDATE (JAN. 4 9:30 P.M.):
On the southwest corner of Coffee Road and Rosedale Highway is where city officials gave the green light for the first-ever Whole Foods to be built here in Bakersfield.
The plan to construct a new shopping center will be yet another dream come true for many people living on the Southwest side of town.
In addition to the Whole Foods Market, the shopping center development of over 25 acres promises residents a community park and electric car charging stations, as well as housing.
“We are thrilled to confirm Whole Foods Market as the anchor tenant for our Coffee and Rosedale development,” stated Patrick Charriou, Manager of Sage Investco. “This project aligns with our commitment to curate dynamic retail spaces that cater to the needs of the community while fostering economic growth and job creation. The site has been vacant and blighted for nearly 40 years and we appreciate PG&E’s critically needed support toward ensuring that this prominent corner becomes the amenity the community has long desired.”
The expansive development is situated on almost 47 acres of the PG&E property.
The development was said in the release to have Whole Foods Market, junior anchor inline storefronts, flexible in-line retail storefronts, drive-through and pad units, general retail, and casual and full-service dining establishments.
The development is expected to bring in over 1,000 employment opportunities and generate about $209 million in sales, an estimated $2.09 million in City Sales Tax, and an additional $1 million in property tax revenue, according to a release.
“The Project proposed by Sage represents the long-awaited opportunity for the City to turn this vacant property into a community asset,” said Karen Goh, Mayor of the City of Bakersfield. “The City of Bakersfield’s leadership and community are excited about this project and want to see it succeed. As the former location of a PG&E power plant, we appreciate that PG&E brought the property to market and contracted with a thoughtful and qualified developer for this key infill site.”
“The proposed project by Sage will not only assist with job creation and the attraction of significant investments into the community but will also serve as a valuable addition to the neighboring communities,” stated California State Senator Shannon Grove.
Last April, the city conducted a survey asking residents what store they want to see the most, and Whole Foods just so happened to be one of them.
RELATED: The results are in, thousands participate in Bakersfield Retail & Restaurant Survey
Shoppers at Trader Joe’s in southwest Bakersfield Eyewitness News spoke with were extremely happy to hear the news.
“I’m super excited actually, they’re opening a Whole Foods, I just can’t wait to have it open,” said Bakersfield resident, Sonali Rhabut.
Others said what they are looking forward to buying the most.
“I love their chocolate croissants, but I love their cheeses. I love their produce because to me, their fruits and vegetables somehow they just have more flavor to them,” said another resident Mita Goklaney.
But the people living on the east side weren’t so happy.
Eyewitness News spoke to shoppers at Walmart on Fashion Place who said they feel ignored, and that all the nice stores in town are being built on the opposite side.
“Well it definitely sucks because I feel like it has to take a lot of gas to get to that side first off and just to get groceries, I do feel like most of the attention is on that side cause all the new places have popped up on Rosedale,” said East Bakersfield Resident Jennifer Gonzales.
“So it would be great to have more healthy option stores over here, even Winco or just more bigger stores on this side because I live on the east side, there’s people on the east side too,” she added.
“I feel like a little, not paid attention to on the East side, they’re taking away a lot of our grocery stores, a couple years back there was this Foodmaxx next to our house, and they shut it down and it still hasn’t been replaced with new grocery stores or even a clothing store, and by putting more grocery stores on the South side, they’re just kind of paying attention to almost like the richer side of Bakersfield and not paying attention to people who are in poverty or really need grocery stores on our side,” said another East Bakersfield resident, Addison Pollard.
City officials haven’t released information on when this will be built or how long it will take.