STOCKTON -- An old downtown Stockton building is being put to new use.
Thursday was the official groundbreaking at the former Medico Dental building on North Sutter Street. From Medico to Medici, like the famous patrons of the arts, the developers want to create a space for artists to grow and for downtown Stockton to thrive.
"We believe in downtown, we believe in housing downtown," said Chris Flaherty, CEO of 3 Leaf Holdings.
Since 1927 the Medico Building has loomed over Miner and North Sutter streets in Stockton but as developer Flaherty says, it’s got good bones.
"It’s constructed very well. The project will have exposed ceilings, as you see here, with rigid duct, and it will be a very lofty style space," Flaherty explained.
On Thursday, Flaherty, joined by other developers, architects and city leaders, announced the official groundbreaking on the project to transform the 12-story building into 34 lofts, primarily geared toward giving artists affordable living space.
"We’re using market-rate units, along with workforce units, or affordable units. So it’s the perfect blend, which we’re seeing through the country now, of mixed-income, mixed-use type units," Flaherty said.
Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs sees the blended use as a benefit.
"I think oftentimes when things are just affordable, they get bad reputations, whether it’s true or not. But this shows that folks of all incomes can live together," Tubbs explained.
And, work and shop together. The first floor of the Medici will be open to businesses.
"We envision coffee shops, hair salons, maybe a printing shop, very eclectic small businesses," Flaherty said.
Flaherty said government housing grants and tax credits played a key role in financing the project.
Construction is set to be finished in 2019 and the developer expects to start taking applications for prospective residents and businesses in May 2019.