World Oil Corp. and Trammell Crow Co. have announced that construction of Bakersfield Commons, a "pedestrian-oriented, master-planned mixed-use community" located in northwest Bakersfield, will actually, finally begin next year.

The 260-acre project, the revised plans for which were announced last summer, will include office, retail, residential, recreational and industrial space, as well as a wellness campus.

"It's unfolding as we envisioned," Abby Ehman, a senior associate at Trammell Crow, said Monday.

None of the single elements planned for the Commons are in themselves complicated, Ehman said, but including them all in one plan is a massive undertaking.

The Commons is planned to ultimately include the following: 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.

Phase I construction, estimated to begin second quarter 2018, will be completed in 12 to 14 months, Ehman said. Full buildout could take up to a decade, and may be done in two phases instead of three. 

She said the Commons will be a gathering space for Bakersfield.

"People will park there and go to three or four places," she said.

While she could not yet disclose names of retailers who have committed to the project, she said a luxury theater is on board and will provide 12 "new state-of-the-art" movie screens. She said watching a movie there will provide "almost a living room environment" for theatergoers.

She said several eateries, restaurants, beauty concepts and fitness have also committed.

World Oil, which has owned the property at the corner of Coffee and Brimhall roads for nearly 50 years, received Bakersfield City Council approval with a unanimous vote in December 2016. Since then, design and pre-leasing has been underway.

According to a release from Trammell Crow, "The project is embracing a passive retention for storm water management, which utilizes landscape areas to naturally filter rainfall. Each area of the project is connected by walking paths, flanked by drought-tolerant plants, creating a walkable, livable master-planned community."

Last year, city officials said the plan appeared to be "modern and well-appointed" with amenities appropriate for the area. 

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