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.