By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Bakersfield's home market moved another spot higher to take sixth place in Realtor.com's third quarter list of the nation's leading "turnaround towns."
Rounding out a Top 10 list that includes seven California cities (Fresno made ninth place), Bakersfield turned in mixed but generally positive results, with a home inventory down by 42 percent between the third quarter of this year and the same period a year before.
Realtor.com reported that Bakersfield's median list price in the third quarter was up more than 8 percent from a year before, while the time it took a listed house to be sold was almost 42 percent faster.
Weighing against a higher ranking, the website reported Tuesday, was Kern County's 12.8 percent August unemployment rate. It also noted that 1 in every 211 housing units received a foreclosure filing in September.
Bakersfield ranked 16th on the turnaround list in the first quarter of this year.
Best Buy is preparing to open a store at Valley Plaza that would sell only cell phones and other mobile electronic devices.
Best Buy Mobile, as the store is called, is expected to open Nov. 21 in a 10,056-square-foot space between Sears and the jewelry store Vales, the mall's marketing manager, Kristi Jackson, said Tuesday.
Best Buy has a larger, full-service location on Rosedale Highway in northwest Bakersfield. Filling the store with some of its most seasoned local staff, the chain wants to make sure the new store is ready to go by the day after Thanksgiving, Jackson said.
Traveler's Oasis is about to begin construction on a travel plaza across the street from an existing Flying J Travel Center along Highway 99 at Merced Avenue.
The 17-acre project is to include 14 new lots ranging in size from 33,000 square feet to 3 acres. Those lots are not expected to be fully occupied for a matter of years.
The Traveler's Oasis portion of the development is to feature a truckers' lounge area with big screen TVs, a sports bar, affordable lodging, a shaded courtyard with seating, truck repair services and various restaurants.
The project is to be located on the northeast corner of Zachary Road and Merced Avenue; the Flying J is on the intersection's northwest corner.
Bakersfield's Dipmala Enterprises LLC is developing the center, while Maximus III Real Estate Advisor handles parcels sales and leasing. Construction is scheduled to begin Thursday.