Adventist’s plan for a 50 acre spa complex could be a huge boon to the languishing Bakersfield Commons project

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – 50 acres are now empty, but use your imagination in this dirt and weed area in northwest Bakersfield. In a few years – we don’t know how many years – it will be what Adventist Health calls a health and wellness complex.

It was the “future home” of a number of projects. Bakersfield Commons – 240 acres on or near the corner of Coffee and Brimhall – was once supposed to be a theme park – a water park called Buccaneer Bay. In 2013 there was to be a baseball stadium and the now defunct Bakersfield Blaze.

And for years there have been different incarnations of a mixed-use community planned by the master.

They all failed for one reason or another.

But this time we see the most concrete proposal yet. In a press conference Tuesday morning, Adventist Health of Bakersfield announced plans to build a large health complex on the east side of Coffee Road – although the details are still unclear. It can contain a hospital – and it can’t. Adventist Core President Daniel Wolcott says the pandemic has forced Adventists to reevaluate possible uses.

“We are in the process of examining exactly what we should do in the future,” he said, “to use this campus to promote the health and wellbeing of the nearly one million people in Kern County.” ”

According to Adventist, it is a transaction with World Oil Corp. $ 26.7 million – nearly $ 16 million of which was a donation from the Roth family, who own the company. The complex – as yet undetermined building plan – is known as the Roth Family Campus.

Health needs aside, the development will have a big impact on the rest of Bakersfield Commons – which, at 150 acres, is one of the largest single-owned lots within Bakersfield city limits.

World Oil executives watch the Adventist Project transform the area from an unattractive industrial cemetery into an attractive and desirable place – entertainment, retail, office and residential in the middle of a fast-growing subway area.

World Oil’s Steven Roth said the development west of Coffee will go hand in hand with Adventist’s project east of Coffee.

“We’re going to be building this as a lifestyle hub of sorts, so there are bike paths, there are hiking trails, there will be gardens,” he said. “It will be very different from what was built. So it will be very closely related to what Adventist does. “

Brother Robert Roth said the Adventist Project will help World Oil find tenants and partners for the main Bakersfield Commons project that failed without a solid anchor tenant.

“We would have marketed an empty lot,” he said. “Now we have a property in which there is a vision.”

The question beyond what happens to the 50 acres east of Coffee Road is what happens on the other side of Coffee, where more than 200 acres await development. Stay tuned.

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