BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Movement in the commercial real estate market can be subject to the domino effect. That’s exactly what seems to have happened with the pending sale of the old Woolworth’s Five and Dime on 19th Street. Where are those dominoes falling? All the way to F Street.
When the longtime owners of the historic Woolworth’s building announced they were selling, a lot of people started thinking about what it would mean — or could mean — to them.
One of those people was Dixie Brewer, owner of the consignment shop In Your Wildest Dreams, who never in her wildest dreams expected to suddenly quadruple her retail floor space.
She is moving from 19th Street to F Street and taking along with her dozens of displaced antique vendors who were notified they’d have to find a new home when Moneywise, a financial management firm, purchased the Woolworth’s building this summer. Escrow is expected to close in November.
In Your Wild Dreams is moving to its third location in four years, the old Beverly Fabrics building, which is nearly 30,000 square feet — enough room to handle the space demands of her old consignment shop, plus that of 100 or so small antique and knickknack vendors. As well as some surprises she won’t divulge.
“We’re going to take a little bit different spin on it, on top of the business model we already have, and then we’re going to add a bunch of amazing vendors and small businesses inside of this building,” she said. “So it’ll be a nice experience for people to come and read a book or (just relax). We’re going to do an old-time candy shop, I think, and we’re going to have a silversmith.”
Brewer has the luxury of working with her old landlord, Tomas DelToro-Diaz, who just this month purchased the new building and remains her landlord. She expects her relocated store to open by Dec. 1.
Brewer leaves the Eastchester section of downtown Bakersfield, which has seen a major resurgence in the last several years. And she is OK with that because Eastchester’s personality is changing.
“I’m seeing the evolution of Eastchester but I’m also seeing a different vibe,” she said. “… There’s not going to be a lot of retail around there. It’s looking like they want everybody to live downtown. You’re going to see the breweries and pubs and all these other kinds of businesses.”
Her new F Street neighbors are ecstatic. Pat Evans of World Records, who’s right next door, is one of them.
“Anything that makes our home, our town, better,” he said. “In Your Wildest Dreams is one of them. We’re all for it.”
Angie Rimer of Village Grill said the whole area will get a boost.
“We’re so excited,” she said. “We needed some businesses down here. It’s a ghost town.”
Brewer says she’s heard from Rosemary’s Creamery, KC Steakhouse and Carpet Cave, and they’re all pumped up.
“We’re all just going to make it happen,” she said. “Make it a new place to be.”
Funny how one little transaction — or, in the case of the Woolworth’s building, a major, significant transaction — can shake things up. From here, it looks like it might be a shakeup that benefits many.