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Bakersfield To Buy Wild West Shopping Center For Centennial Corridor Freeway

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Joe Moore
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Valley Public Radio
The Wild West Shopping Center stands in the way of the planned extension of Highway 58 west of Highway 99, known as the Centennial Corridor.

Bakersfield’s Wild West Shopping Center is getting a new owner. FM89’s Joe Moore reports on why the city council voted last night to buy the property.

The nearly 5 acre parcel sits where westbound Highway 58 dead-ends into Highway 99. For years extending freeway access on 58 to the west side has been a top city priority - a plan now known as the Centennial Corridor freeway.

Once constructed it will link up with the existing Westside Parkway. But in its path are dozens of existing homes and businesses including the Wild West center. That’s why the city council unanimously approved the purchase Wednesday night, but not without some reservations over the $7.9 million price tag.

Still many on the council say it’s too late to change plans now. Councilmember Jacquie Sullivan:

Sullivan: “We have needed to do this for decades, knowing eventually that it would be done.”

While the city is moving forward on purchasing land for the project, the freeway still isn’t a done deal. That approval won’t come until the project’s final environmental impact report is finished.  

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of Valley Public Radio. During his tenure, he's helped lead the station through major programming changes and the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining the station's financial health. From 2010-2018 he served as the station's Director of Program Content. In that role, he also served as the host of Valley Edition, and helped launch and grow the station's award-winning local news department. He is a Fresno native and a graduate of California State University, Fresno.
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