BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – The Cue Eastchester Flats, a four-story, 49-unit market-rate apartment building in the city’s burgeoning Eastchester district, is about to move in its first tenants.
The Cue, as it’s called in shorthand, will give one target to demographic in particular — young, predominantly single, upwardly mobile professionals – the opportunity to live in the city’s energetic central district.
The housing complex, at 18th and Q streets, near Mexicali and the Bakersfield Museum of Art, will market to renters who want walkable access to restaurants, bars, entertainment, retail and office.
One-bedroom units are $2,100 per month, and two-bedrooms are $2,500. It’s currently about 30 percent leased.
The project developer is Sage Equities, which already owns 44-unit 17th Place Townhomes, a quarter-mile west, and is in the early stages of construction of 918 at Eastchester, a multi-story complex at 21st and P streets, in the former location of the Sinaloa Mexican Restaurant.
Sage Equities has also acquired the former B’nai Jacob synagogue at 17th and S streets, along the city’s Mill Creek linear park.
The developers will turn it into yet more high-density downtown housing – Eastbank Flats. And coming eventually, a fifth project – Cleo on 18th Street, over what is now Cafe Smitten’s parking lot.
Austin Smith of Sage Equities says residential development in the city’s urban core can be transformational in terms of convenience and lifestyle.
“That’s the big part of it – the walkability,” Smith said. “It’s really why we’re passionate about building downtown, and have a heart for it. You can have an experience and a lifestyle that you can’t have anywhere else in Bakersfield.”
Smith’s father, Bakersfield City Councilman Bob Smith, says there’s also a safety component to round-the-clock occupancy in downtown.
“We need people living downtown,” the councilman said. “We need disposal income downtown, we need 24-hour eyes on the street downtown.”
Ward 2 Bakersfield City Councilman Andrae Gonzales says the Smiths aren’t just businessmen, they’re redevelopment pioneers.
“Sage Equities is really leading the way in terms of market-rate housing in downtown Bakersfield,” Gonzales said, “and in many ways they are to be credited for being the pioneers of downtown revitalization and particularly when it comes to housing.”
In 2017 the Bakersfield City Council established the goal of doubling the city’s downtown population by 2030, from 5,000 to 10,000, and the Cue is another positive step in that direction.