BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Bitwise Industries, the workshare/tech academy/software developer, is ratcheting up for a protracted grand opening delayed by the pandemic.

Bitwise took another step in that direction Monday when the company hosted two dozen local civic leaders for lunch and a tour of the facility at the corner of 18th and H Streets, across 18th from the Padre Hotel.

The invited guests included Kern County Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop, who said he had never been inside the dramatically renovated former home of Turk’s Copy.

“Beyond the presence that they’re having in downtown and the effects of that,” Alsop said, “they’re a big community partner for the county and the city of Bakersfield, in bolstering the entrepreneurial spirit.”

The Turk’s Copy, or east, side of the 18th Street campus is complete but operating at 50 percent capacity, and work continues on the west side of the facility, the old Vincent’s Cyclery building. Bitwise officials say that side of the campus is perhaps 90 days away.

It will have some surprises, which we’ll be sharing with you in the days ahead.

As for the Porterfield Hotel wedged in between the two buildings, Bitwise is reportedly in escrow to buy the retirement apartments for $1 million but the company’s only comment thus far has been, “The deal isn’t done yet and until escrow closes, we can’t say much.”