The future of Bakersfield's downtown could be expanding with the addition of what's being called an "Entertainment District".
On Wednesday, the Bakersfield City Council authorized Mayor Karen Goh to sign a "non-binding letter of intent," which would allow the sale of property in the northeast corner of California Avenue and P Street to Discovery Management Group, LLC.
The property covers a little more than five acres and would be sold for about $2.23 million.
The hope, according to background information provided to the city council, would be to add to the Mill Creek master plan by creating the South Mill Creek Entertainment District.
Background information documents say the hope is "to create a unique area in Bakersfield that builds upon the nearby convention and entertainment uses for the enjoyment of both Bakersfield residents and convention-goers, alike. In this vision, the City has continued to seek restaurants and other compatible uses to complement this site, building upon its unique waterfront location that is close to housing, hotels, and attractions."
According to the documents, the city was approached by officials with the Discovery Management Group in 2015 about creating an entertainment venue similar to one the company built in Ventura.
The concept includes, "“unique California-lifestyle experience by combining a hip, sophisticated bowling center, state of the art concept hall designed for national touring acts and live entertainment, a basement speakeasy, and private event facilities with first class food and beverage program featuring California-fusion cuisine.”
Discovery Management has also created a similar entertainment venue in San Luis Obispo, which is set to open this summer. Bakersfield would be the third Discovery location.
As part of the letter of intent, the project would need to be complete within two years of closing escrow.
It's not known what venues would be going into the entertainment district.