Best. Job. Ever

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by Gynae Davalos

Getting paid to do what you enjoy is a lifelong goal for many. But what happens when you actually DO reach that goal? Well, I just got this job and I’m freaking out.

What’s this place? Who owns this building? What was this before? Is it for lease? So many questions. . . .

I have to show and tell how awesome Downtown Stockton (and subsequently the whole city) is. I have to give reasons why everyone should come downtown more often. I have to encourage entrepreneurs, investors, and businesses to open or expand their companies downtown. I have to reassure the public that downtown is safe. I have to shine some light on businesses and services that may be on the brink of going out in hopes of possibly saving them. I have to inspire and motivate ideas to fill all the empty buildings and spaces speckled throughout downtown. I have to harness enough energy through my adventures to help revitalize all of downtown as soon as humanly possible.

But I only get 5 hours a day.

Good thing I’m on skates.

My trusty Riedell R3s

I’ll do the best I can do Downtown Stockton, but let’s help each other out! Events, meetings, celebrations, announcements, specials – I need to hear about ALL of it. PLEASE send me an email, a direct message, call me at the office, hand a DSA Safety Ambassador a flyer to give to me – however digitally or physically I can retrieve info, the sooner I can share and let everyone know about all the cool happenings downtown and continue to show and tell how awesome downtown is and is becoming.

I was born in Stockton and I’ve spent the majority of my life here. The grass is NOT greener on the other side. Everything we need to grow and flourish is right here.  And I hope everyone rolls right along with me to help Downtown Stockton and the rest of our fine city continue to blossom and thrive. Because this is the best job ever and I love it here!

The Waterfront. From here, you can go anywhere.

Coworking Spaces

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By Ben Sanchez

On the busy cross street of San Joaquin and Weber, Eric Bodary, Facility Operations Manager for Huddle x Launch Pad, stands at the front of the Belding building expecting packages for clients. As we exchange greetings, Bodary suggests the second floor space for work. “You’ve got everything you need with a break room, bathroom, and conference room on the same floor,” he says. We walk through the lobby and take the elevator up to the main floor of Huddle x Launch Pad.

Conveniently, the mosaic patterned pathway I follow down the hall on the second floor stops at the entrance of the open coworking space. Small painted fingers along the wall point the way to the conference room, lockers, and printers. The large space on the second floor has several tables spread out with chairs, a printer station, and one dark green couch complete with pillows and a coffee table. Geometric painted designs dance across the walls underneath bright dangling light bulbs. This mixture of old and new decor resonate warm feelings that is begging for a rug to “really tie the room together.”

Something Old, Something New.

This month I decided to spend some time working out of a coworking space in downtown Stockton. The Belding Building, built in 1915, is a five-story structure named after Charles Belding, a farmer, businessman, and former mayor of Stockton. Today, the renovated building is quiet on the second floor. I place my backpack on the table and start setting up for work. I find myself at ease when trying to write content, as sunbeams from the window warm my table. Bodary stops by to find out what else I need before I start the day.

The second floor has several windows overlooking downtown Stockton, which only get better as you head to the fourth floor. The photography studio up on the fourth floor offer a room for creatives to capture incredible shots with natural lighting coming from windows along the east and north walls. With a variety of eating spots and coffee shops within walking distance, the location is ideal for running out to grab a quick coffee before heading back to work. Bodary was kind enough to watch my bag as I ventured out to pick up food.

He schedules me into the conference room and within a few minutes, I’m on the calendar for my next Zoom meeting. The large room is more than accommodating for my particular needs. For a team, it is the perfect space to meet with a modern conference table and chairs in the middle of the room. A bright orange bicycle hangs in the corner, as if it wanted to ride up along the wall. White boards have notes scrawled in marker from previous discussions and a large, flatscreen TV can be synced up for digital presentations and Zoom calls. With no one scheduled for the conference room, I had enough time to prepare my set up for a few back to back calls before heading back out to the coworking space.

Flexible.

Each floor offers something unique. I bounced around a few floors to get a feel of what is available. Open space. Private space. Private offices can outfit their space to accommodate their needs. I found lockers in another area for individuals looking to store personal items with their own lock and key. Art and photographs hang on walls on the first floor with a podcast room hiding old vinyl records on shelves and a small neon ‘On Air’ sign. Before the recording studio was developed, I recorded a podcast on the third floor. That episode yearned for a podcast studio, but now the space has one available for individuals to create content. The first floor amenities offer another layer to the already developed space inside Huddle x Launch Pad. The fourth floor lobby greets visitors with art and plant life before the elevators arrive to escort me to the next floor. Buttons light up with a loud ding signaling my arrival back to the coworking space.

Throughout the day, people walk up and down hallways to private offices. Members have keycard access to the building and work out of offices between the 2nd and 4th floors. Delivery drivers and mail carriers drop off items at the front desk. Huddle x Launch Pad can accommodate clients who are not available for pick up and store packages until they arrive on-site.

Did you know?

A new bike rack was installed right outside the Belding Building. This artistic bike rack installation could be the first of many in downtown Stockton.

Award Tour with Matt Amen.

Tours are available to schedule online and most freelancers like to work on the second floor for a day to get acclimated with the space. I’ve only visited a few floors on my visit to Launch Pad, but continue to return for the amenities offered when I need more flexible space or stability on a Zoom call (Dropped calls happen more than you think). Overall, it was a great experience to be back in a coworking environment. Huddle x Launch Pad is relatively flexible with what floor you prefer and I think once the ground floor renovations are complete, entrepreneurs can look forward to working out of another, large coworking space in downtown Stockton.

Huddle x Launch Pad: Inevitable Destination

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By Ben Sanchez

The first floor of the historic Belding building on the corner of N. San Joaquin and Weber Avenue has large display windows for onlookers who will spot art hanging on the wall, and one small room with vinyl records on shelves. In the corner of the small room window is an ‘On Air’ sign facing the street.

Modern furnishings and plants populate the room to round out the space with a uniquely woven design of the Launch Pad logo placed along the side entrance wall.

Upon my arrival, a woman waited to enter the appropriate passcodes at another entrance to the main floors of Huddle x Launch Pad. I helped her contact Eric Bodary, Facility Operations Director, who maintains the front desk on the second floor.

Eric Bodary, Facility Operations Director.

We keyed in our not so secret codes and a signal was transmitted up to Bodary, who greeted us through the intercom. “I was expecting you. Come on up, I’ll buzz you through,” he says. The door buzzed and we all walked through the lobby waiting for the elevators to carry us up to the main floor.

Elevators ding on arrival and we took a ride up one floor to chat with Bodary about the coworking space in downtown Stockton. Bodary grabs mail for the woman and we say our goodbyes before venturing off on a tour of the second and fourth floors.

When I asked Bodary about Huddle x Launch Pad and how he explains the concept of coworking to people unfamiliar with it, he says, “We are like a rental office on steroids — we offer more than just a rental space.”

What is Huddle x Launch Pad? Watch the video here!

What is coworking?

For anyone unfamiliar with the term, coworking is a shared, professional workspace. However, several cowork spaces offer additional services including kitchens, meeting rooms, photo studios, private offices and more. Huddle x Launch Pad provides all of this within the coworking space downtown making it accessible for entrepreneurs in Stockton. 

The unique element about coworking is the people working in the space. During my time in coworking spaces across California, my experience with freelancers opened up a collaborative avenue of information and ideas. It creates a community.

There is something special and meaningful behind it that inspires your work. The people may not be familiar with you or the scope of work you do, but in a short period of time, the conversation is filled with high energy. A vibrant atmosphere encourages any freelancer renting a space for the day. It feels rejuvenating to meet others in the field working on similar problems. The unique interconnection between people creates a wave of positivity to discover solutions to those problems. The entrepreneurial spirit courses through the veins at these facilities with a modern feel, but containing an element of nostalgia within the historic framework of each building. This theme is similar to other cowork spaces I’ve visited from Sacramento, San Francisco, Tracy, and San Jose. 

Let’s make magic.

While we waited for the Community Manager, Matt Amen to arrive, Bodary shared his insight on being a part of the space where he met Matt in 2016. “I actually started at the original location on the first month they opened,” he says. “I signed up as a member, shifted over to helping out until finally being hired on.” Bodary is the guy working in the background, where Amen typically handles the front end of the business from tours to speaking engagements. The duo created magic by bringing more people into the space through events and community gatherings.

With the Stockton coworking space gaining national recognition for their work, Launch Pad reached out. The team partnered with Launch Pad over 2 years ago, and their grassroots efforts set the stage for expanding into the first floor of the Belding building. “Launch Pad was created out of New Orleans in a need for small business space after Hurricane Katrina,” Bodary says.

Matt Amen, Community Manager.

We head back down to the first floor just as Amen rides up on a bicycle. The timing was impeccable. “This is exciting,” he says. “I’m excited for what we can do in this place.” The small podcast room is readily available for entrepreneurs ready to dive in and create content on the first floor. While the conference room is still being prepared, furniture is placed and ready for entrepreneurs to start their dream. 

Amen has been busy in the background working diligently on providing a comfortable space for small business owners and entrepreneurs. “I wanted to help build a space I felt comfortable in and that the community can feel comfortable in,” he says. “I got to see this place grow and be a pillar in this community, especially our entrepreneurial community.”

Why downtown Stockton?

Downtown has a rich history. There are wonderful buildings and people here.

How can the community support you?

Check out our space. People are looking for something historic and new at the same time.

I wanted to help build a space I felt comfortable in and that the community can feel comfortable in.

Matt Amen

Create.

Did you know Huddle x Launch Pad has a photo studio on the 4th floor?

“We are calling it Studio 419,” Amen says. While the studio has only been open a month, the feedback from people who used the space has been positive. With incredible natural lighting and additional equipment for photographers on-site, the studio and first floor expansions are key milestones for Huddle x Launch Pad.

Address: 110 N. San Joaquin St.
Phone: 209.323.4389
Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Monday – Friday

Pioneers of Downtown Stockton

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By Andrew Rocha

Downtown Stockton has been experiencing a period of resurgence. Businesses are opening and happily accepted by the community! In addition, many people are showing interest in living in downtown. It is an exciting time to be downtown!

But a lot of what is happening downtown would not be possible if not for the time and effort from several figures in the community. Not only have they shown enough interest in the district to use their resources in fostering the downtown area, but their passion for the area is sparking interest and attracting more people to visit downtown Stockton. Growth and new life in downtown would not be possible without their efforts!

Bali Ranchhod

Bali Ranchhod and the S&M Ranchhod Family Trust own several properties in downtown Stockton including, 820/840 East Main Street, 526/530 East Main Street, and 47 North Grant Street. To help support growth and life in the area, Ranchhod explained that,

“We encourage new businesses into our properties in downtown by offering low rents and assisting with establishment as possible…We have recently become involved with the Downtown Stockton Business Watch and their efforts to improve security. Just having tenants in formerly vacant properties and generating some traffic flow is helping keep downtown active and help with its new growth.”

Bali Ranchhod’s father, Shamjibhai Ranchhod, came to Stockton in the early 70’s for a better life than what was available in their home of Zambia. Though it was a struggle, Shamjibhai Ranchhod worked hard for his family and the downtown community. Bali Ranchhod shared,

“He would take over any distressed property and try to make it work. He would get sellers to carry a note with a small amount down and worked hard to keep up with payments, manage tenants and do the necessary maintenance (mostly himself and getting help from the cheapest contractors available). He was a good negotiator and a lot of folk did jobs for him simply because of his persistence and character.”

Cort Companies

Cort Tower

Cort Companies is a full-service commercial real estate and development company. They renovate and restore buildings that are integral to the history of downtown Stockton. Cort Companies has been serving the community for 40 years. In that time, around two million square feet of space have been restored. Dan Cort, the president and CEO of Cort Companies expressed that he believes more people will be drawn to the district because of Cort Companies’ hard work and the businesses that have chosen to work with them. It is a community effort that is helping downtown Stockton grow.

Mahala Burns, the senior broker of Cort Companies, mentioned some of the projects that Cort Companies is working on. One of their main goals is to bring new residents to the downtown area. These projects to draw new residents include Tretheway Live+Work Lofts at the historic Tretheway building, a space for those who want an area where they can comfortably live AND practice their business. According to Mahala Burns, more and more people are showing interest in downtown Stockton and overtime life will be thriving like it never has before.

Melvin Corren

A 94-year old Stockton native, Melvin Corren, leads a class titled “Revitalization of Downtown Stockton” in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of the Pacific. In this class, Melvin Corren and various people from the city government and local organizations suggest ways in which downtown Stockton can return to its former glory.

“My drive for doing all of this has been number one, because I remember when downtown Stockton was such a vibrant place and I would like to see it return to that state.” said Corren.

Bob Hope Theatre

In 1901, Melvin Corren’s grandfather opened a furniture store on San Joaquin Street in Downtown Stockton. He remembers those old and wonderful times downtown. He also shared some ideas that would benefit the area while paying respect to the area’s rich history. One idea is to compliment the iconic Bob Hope Theater with a Bob Hope Plaza or museum to celebrate the life and work of Bob Hope, perhaps including a film of Alex Spanos dancing with Bob Hope. Such a project would not only give people an incentive to visit and live in downtown Stockton, but also a reason to care and cherish the area.

Downtown Stockton is an area that is on the rise. Members of the community can help support the new life and growth in the area by simply supporting the businesses that are located there and spend time enjoying the atmosphere of downtown’s city life.

Written by Andrew James Rocha

Living Downtown

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By Andrew Rocha

Downtown Stockton is not just a great place to hang out with friends and grab a bite to eat, but it also has numerous living options. Current and future housing projects welcome new residents with a variety of spaces that will fulfill the needs of a diverse population.

University Lofts 

There are so many places to choose from when moving to Downtown Stockton, including the University Lofts that sit along the waterfront. It is a seven-story full-scale housing, resort style, residential building, and it offers 51 suite-style lofts and 42 condo-style lofts. Not that far from the lofts, there is Stockton Arena, Banner Island Ballpark, and Weber Point Events Center. All of which are within walking distance of the building!

Cal Weber 40

The Cal Weber 40 Apartments are Downtown Stockton’s first affordable housing project. They are located at the intersection of California Street and Weber Avenue. The apartments include a total of 40 units. 28 are apartments with two bedrooms and one bathroom, and the remaining 12 apartments are with three bedrooms and two baths. Cal Weber 40 also provides residents with designated parking and common areas with computer labs.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES – CalWeber

Mansion House

Mansion House is an apartment complex located along Weber Avenue and just a short walk away from many restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues. Amenities such as assigned parking, high-speed internet access, and washers and dryers, are available to residents. The apartment is three-stories and includes 26 units that overlook the County Superior Court and the Historic Hotel Stockton.

Hotel Stockton

The Hotel Stockton is a low-income housing community located in the center of downtown near the waterfront; the building has four-stories and includes 156 units. Residents have all of downtown within walking distance as well as amenities like a fitness center and a community room.

Hotel Stockton

Silvercrest Residences

There is also the Silvercrest Residences located on North Stanislaus Street. Silvercrest is a senior living community that is made up of 83 units. Affordable apartments are available for individuals who can live independently, though income restrictions may apply.

Tretheway Live+Work Lofts

There are also several projects currently underway to encourage more individuals to make Downtown Stockton their home. The Tretheway Live+Work Lofts is for those who not only want a space to operate their business, but also to live and relax. This is especially attractive to artists and entrepreneurs. The Tretheway Building is a historical landmark on Weber Avenue across from the County Superior Court. Mirroring most downtown living locations, it is not too far from entertainment and food. The Tretheway Live+Work Lofts are estimated to be ready in March 2019. However, five of the twelve Live+Work lofts are already reserved, so there is plenty of interest in this location.

Tretheway Building

CalMain Lofts

Currently under construction are the CalMain Loft apartments. The complex is right across from Trail Coffee Roasters on Main Street. The CalMain Lofts are made up of one bedroom, two bedroom, and studio apartments with new kitchens and bathrooms, and high-end finishes.

Future CalMain Lofts

This is the best time to live in downtown Stockton – not only to have access to comfortable housing and a gratifying atmosphere – but also to witness and be a part of a community that is growing and becoming more recognized for its positive potential.

Regal Office Spaces at Cort Tower

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By Courtney Wood, Economic Development Coordinator

The historic Cort Tower at 343 Main Street is one of the most recognized landmarks in Downtown Stockton. This statuesque building was originally constructed in 1915 and housed the Commercial & Savings Bank. To this day, if visitors look left upon entering the building, they will catch a glimpse of the palatial marble staircase leading down to the former bank’s vaults.

As the second skyscraper ever built in Stockton, Cort Tower is akin to a dependable, well-uniformed downtown sentinel. From its highest floors, tenants and visitors can take in eye-popping views of Stockton’s historic district from every direction.

Although the brick building suffered a fire in 1923, it was subsequently rebuilt to double the size of the original structure. This is why the tower seems narrow when viewed from Main Street, but elongated when viewed from Sutter Street.

From the intricately designed entryway to the high-ceiling ground floor lobby, the leather-seated conference room, and the antique mail chute, this edifice projects quiet elegance and stately professionalism. Throughout its ten floors, Cort Tower harbors abundant office spaces of varying sizes. The Write Place, Third City Coalition, and Cort Companies are just a few notable existing tenants. The building also harbors a substantial number of legal professionals. Perks of being a tenant include access to the shared exercise room, conference room, secure codes required for visitor entry, and a smartphone app which allows you to view visitors. View a video of the Tower here.

At the time of this blog entry, there were 13 offices for lease available at a competitive lease rate of $11.40 per square foot PER YEAR. If you are seeking a space which will radiate competence and assurance to your clients or customers, Cort Tower may be the ideal office location for you! For more information, contact Mahala Burns at 209-235-5321 or visit the Cort Companies website.

 

Own a Small Piece of Downtown

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By Courtney Wood

With a brick exterior, quaint wallpaper, antique-style lighting fixtures, and ornate ceilings, the Budd Building is an opportunity for commercial landlords looking to invest in a unique, office space in the historic Downtown Stockton on the 3rd floor at 333 East Channel Street.

Historical Tidbit

The original Budd Building was the home of California’s 19th Governor and Stockton resident, James Budd, born in 1851. He immigrated to California with his family when he was 7 years old, and attended schools in the Stockton area.

Later on, Budd studied law at UC Berkeley, gained admission to the California Bar in 1874, and became a member of the House of Representatives, where he “balanced the budget and cut spending, despite working with a hostile legislature,” according to our Resident Historian Ambassador, Manuel Laguna (Click here for info about Manuel’s free historical tours).

Budd was elected as governor in 1895, and served only one term before returning to Stockton, where he died in 1908. In the Stockton community, “Budd was instrumental in the dredging of the Stockton Channel, which aided shipping to the Port of Stockton.” After Budd’s death, his daughter began using the former home as a boarding house. The charming 3-story brick frontage addition was completed in the early 1900s, and has been used as commercial office space for decades.

Investment Opportunity

While its architecture and interior design bring to mind the golden days of Stockton’s past, this office building is fully equipped with all expected modern amenities including an elevator. The bottom two condominiums are currently owned and occupied by the law offices of Rafael Carrillo, but the 3rd floor is for sale at a modest price of $275,000 for the entire 3,000 square feet!

Located across from Channel Street Parking garage, a block from the Downtown Transit Center, only a few blocks from the new San Joaquin County Courthouse, and in proximity to the upcoming Medici Apartments, this upper floor office suite is ideal for leasing to a professional services-type tenant, be it a lawyer, accountant, insurance agent, property manager, business consultant, or a bail bond salesman.

For more information about the property check out the DSA’s listing and click here to watch a video, or contact the real estate agent, Andrew Hernandez, directly at 209-765-8568.

For other Downtown spaces for lease or sale, visit DSA’s Real Estate Directory and follow DSA’s #PropertyMondays on Facebook and Twitter.