STOCKTON, CA - There may be dozens of empty buildings scattered among downtown Stockton, but there is optimism for the area following two recent moves.
"We're ready. Everything is in place for a great rebirth," said broker Mahala Burns of Cort Companies.
Burns' company has bought the three-story building across the plaza from the downtown cinema. The top floor will be used by the Stockton Convention and Visitors Bureau. Burns hopes the bottom floor will offer a far different look.
"We want to open to the plaza local wine tasting, a brewery- tasting, and a great deli," said Burns.
Not far away, work is well underway on the restaurant location left empty by Paragary's. The new owners are promising lower prices, quicker meals and a New Orleans style menu.
Burns said she's charged up about downtown Stockton because of its location near the waterfront.
"All you have to do is look around. There's nothing like this in the Central Valley," she said.
Burns also said Stockton residents will return to downtown Stockton when they believe it's safe there.
"Statistically, this is the safest place in Stockton," she said.