First Phase of Bakersfield Commons to Start in 2018

World Oil Corp., which owns the site, chose Trammell Crow Co. to be the master-developer of the project that will feature residential, retail, industrial and office space along with a luxury theater and hotel.

Rendering of Bakersfield Commons
Rendering of Bakersfield Commons

Construction of a 260-acre mixed-use, master-planned community in Bakersfield, Calif., is scheduled to begin next year and will feature residential, retail, industrial and office space along with a luxury theater and hotel.

Bakersfield Commons is being developed on a site owned for nearly 50 years by World Oil Corp. at the corner of Coffee and Brimhall roads. Owners of the company, Robert and Steven Roth, chose Trammell Crow Co. to be the master-developer of the project that has been in the planning stages for several years. At one point, the plans included a baseball stadium along with a heavy emphasis on retail, but the focus has changed to a lifestyle center that will also include a wellness campus.

The Bakersfield City Council unanimously approved the project in December 2016 with the following entitlements: 400,000 square feet of office; 300,000 square feet of retail; 280,000 square feet of light industrial; more than 1,000 residential units and a 200-bed hospital.

Expected to be completed in 2019, Phase I will have 220,000 square feet of retail; 120,000 square feet of Class A office space; 325 residential units; a 130-key national branded hotel and 2.2 miles of walking paths. The lifestyle retail center will have shops and restaurants opening onto landscaped patio areas and include entertainment options and national and local eateries. Each area of the project will be connected by walking paths flanked by drought-tolerant plants to create a walkable master-planned community. It is expected to be built in three phrases with completion set for 2035.

“The project is located at Bakersfield’s epicenter, where the entire city can come together to live, work and play in one destination with outstanding amenity areas, parks and pedestrian walkways. Thoughtfully designed in line with World Oil and TCC’s commitment to sustainability and wellness, it provides the widest variety of recreation, retail, entertainment, dining, office, light industrial, healthcare and residential offerings,” Abbey Ehman, senior associate with TCC’s SoCal-Los Angeles Business Unit, said in a prepared statement.

New Focus

When first proposed at the onset of the Great Recession, the project was also expected to have about 1.4 million square feet of retail. That number has now dropped to about 300,000 square total with more of an emphasis on entertainment and dining. Among the changes to the plan is the addition of a wellness campus that will have a 200-room hospital along with other spaces focusing on healthy living and disease prevention, the Bakersfield Californian reported. Two parks, one 6.5 acres and a smaller one of about 2.8 acres will be operated by the North of the River Recreation & Park District and a multi-level golf facility was also added to the project, according to the newspaper.

“We are excited that we have increased the initial offering, and now have a plan to include a hotel and recreation site in our first phase. Nearly 25 percent of the lifestyle retail is pre-committed, including a luxury theater that will offer 12 new state-of-the-art move screens to Bakersfield,” Ehman added.

Vincent Roche, Duane Keathley and Josh Sherley with PACCRA will manage leasing for the project. TCC Senior Managing Director Brad Cox and Ehman will provide executive oversight and development leadership.

Rendering courtesy of