Staff writer, Roger Phillips, from The Record reports on Stockton’s downtown transformation. Here is an excerpt form his Feb. 19, 2016 article:
The path a pioneer travels always is a bumpy one, a lesson attorney Jacob Loyal Benguerel was learning roughly one year ago at this time as he struggled to fully establish his law practice on the frontier of Stockton’s downtown. Benguerel, 36, had bought the old Stockton Morris Plan Company building and had spruced it up both outside and in. But that’s when the problems began, as the neighborhood’s persistent issues of crime and trash and the graffiti of a tagger named Earl hamstrung Benguerel’s best efforts to reclaim and restore his small slice of downtown Stockton. One year later, however, Benguerel says he has seen dramatic improvement.
“There’s a whole lot more energy,” Benguerel said recently. “You’re hearing about more and more people coming downtown. As far as my own block (crime) has almost stopped. Earl is long gone. We haven’t heard from Earl.”
Benguerel’s observations about the potential for a sustainable restoration of downtown Stockton are reflected in the progress he expects to see in the year ahead. Some of it, he will be able to see from his business’ own doorstep.