The Last Decade in Stockton

 

Just over Ten years ago, heavy construction machinery leveled a Stockton block of dilapidated buildings to make space for a downtown cinema. A collapsing parking lot was metamorphosed into an open outdoor plaza now called the Dean De Carli Waterfront Square.

Stockton ArenaMeanwhile, this was just the beginning. the arena,, the ballpark, the restoration of Hotel Stockton, and the Bob Hope (Fox Theatre) all happened in the previous decade, drastically altering the facade of downtown Stockton. Although this new beginning was taking place, Stockton on the whole was still grappling with high unemployment, violent crime, and more recently - huge waves of foreclosures - at times a majority of Spanos Park West and Weston Ranch was in foreclosure and just about every other home that was purchased after 2005.

From a political standpoint, Stockton enjoyed "extraordinary continuity" from the city leaders. In times of prosperity, those city leaders moved in an assertive and sometimes irresponsible way to revive downtown at considerable expense to the outlying suburbs, and when times became difficult they combed through budgets exploring ways cut out expenses and raise even more revenues from city residents and refused to cower to union demands. "In both economic expansion and contraction cycles Stockton city leaders have for the most part acted responsibly. But for some it's difficult at times to be optimistic. Some sad moments came with the closure of a major Pacific Avenue department store, Mallards Restaurant in Brookside, The Black Angus on March Lane, Pacific State Bank, the 2009 closure of a 50 year Miracle Mile icon, See's Candy store "We lost former friends, we lost businesses, we lost restaurants, and we are finding it difficult the to gather strength to pull our community strength up once more. One of the bright spots has been the new Olive Garden Restaurant which is always busy.

For those of you hiding all the upbeat Stockton news send me an email or call me at 209-951-7521

Gene Wright

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