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Watching Our Downtown Shift and Grow

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Watching our downtown shift and grow

It is truly amazing to witness the evolution of Downtown Hollister over the past 30 years. When I moved here in 1986, you could satisfy just about any need in our downtown. JC Penney, Fords Dept. Store, Dick Bruhn’s and Schipper’s Clothing were anchor tenants and clothing providers for the entire community. Smaller boutique type stores such as Mode O Day, The Fashion Tree, Shirley’s and She’s filled in with more unique offerings for the fashion conscious.

Our Downtown also had Mauro’s Stationers, Ladd Ace Hardware and still has McKinnon Lumber Company. We had jewelers, gift shops, and a book store.

What has changed over time, is our shift from a goods based economy to an experience and service based economy, and with that the uses and tenants for our downtown has evolved. We have more restaurants, hair salons, day spas, insurance and real estate offices in our mix. Although we do still have some wonderful retail establishments such as Irma’s Fashions and San Benito Bene, it is truly the restaurant category that has blossomed in our downtown with Running Rooster, Country Rose Café, Cheap Seats Pub & Grub, La Catrina Mexican Grill, Johnny’s Bar & Grill, Mars Hill Coffee House, Fisher’s Delicatessen and Catering, Paine’s Restaurant & Bar, The Heavenly Bakery, Cheung Sheng Chinese Restaurant and many more.

Personal care services have also taken off in our downtown with many salons and day spas. A personal favorite for spa services is Paradiso Spa and Salon. The interior of this day spa is on par with spas you would find in Carmel and San Jose.

Beyond the wonderful tenants we have downtown it is also important to note that our main street, San Benito Street, is also undergoing a transformation. Formally highway 25, through our downtown, governance of this important artery has been transferred back to the City after a bypass was built several years ago do divert heavy traffic use around our downtown rather than through it. This has allowed lane reductions and pedestrian and bicycle amenities to be added to our street to address all desired uses for transportation. High visibility crosswalks have been painted at each intersection as well as mid-block to give pedestrians more ease of access to our many wonderful downtown businesses and restaurants. We are enjoying the traffic calming effects these changes have made and are looking forward to the completion of additional phases on this plan.

Also, long overdue is the much anticipated redevelopment of the 400 block of San Benito Street that previously was home to 10 businesses before the 1989 earthquake that devastated the block and many others in our downtown. The project that is being proposed now will feature five buildings that will provide a home for a non-profit center, retail and restaurant spaces as well as 16 condominiums. All combined, this makes a great mixed-use project that has the potential to be a catalyst for economic growth and vitality for our historic downtown district.

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  • Hollister Downtown Association
  • 514 Monterey Street
  • Hollister, CA 95023
  • (831) 636-8406 ph
  • (831) 636-5909 fx
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