Task force delivers $20M blueprint to transform historic Miracle Mile

Students attend Tiger Prowlin' the Mile during Pacific's annual Week of Welcome.

Students attend Tiger Prowlin' the Mile during Pacific's annual Week of Welcome in Aug. 2023. 

A special task force delivered to Stockton city officials Wednesday night a $20 million blueprint designed to make the Miracle Mile a robust dining, shopping and entertainment hub, transforming the historic business district into a destination for students, residents and visitors.

Highlights of the detailed 217-page report from the Ad Hoc Workgroup for the Miracle Mile Improvement Project include:

  • Widen sidewalks and replace with decorative pavers
  • Improve street lighting and add festoon lighting
  • Design a comprehensive landscape plan
  • Leverage existing city funds to facilitate new building facades
  • Change traffic flow on Pacific Avenue with median islands, lane shifts, additional stop signs and lane reductions
  • Add bicycle lanes and bike parking
  • Build raised crosswalks with rumble strips
  • Enhance street surface with pavers or decorative concrete
  • Renovate and upgrade public parking lots, adding critical way finding and lighting
  • Incorporate art and other design elements
  • Re-envision Tuxedo Court as a plaza for music, events and farmers’ markets
  • Install a comprehensive video camera monitoring system
  • Enhance Caldwell Park, adding lighting, amenities and security cameras
  • Add iconic elements honoring the history and traditions of the Mile

The $20 million grant was secured in 2022 by State Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua, who grew up near the business district. The legislator created the workgroup.

“The Miracle Mile is a beloved and historical stretch of Stockton that we hope may represent the economic and cultural prosperity of our diverse city,” Villapudua said. “We hope for a district that provides an enriching and safe experience for anyone visiting and that will make any resident proud to call Stockton home.”

Kevin Dougherty and Jean Callahan

Real estate developer Kevin Dougherty and First Lady Jean Callahan served as co-chairs for the committee.

The Miracle Mile is adjacent to University of the Pacific. The ad hoc workgroup was co-chaired by Jean Callahan, the First Lady of University of the Pacific and vice president of the Miracle Mile Community Improvement District.

“This is a fantastic illustration of what can happen when our community works together,” Callahan said. “Assemblymember Villapudua, was masterful in securing the transformational funding. Then 21 volunteers—including business owners, community leaders and local residents—worked tirelessly for eight months, hearing hundreds of ideas in four public forums, 17 working sessions and dozens of meetings of seven subcommittees.”

She said the workgroup spent cumulatively more than 1,100 hours on the project.

The report was delivered to city officials on Wednesday night at the final public meeting.

“Now it’s time for our city officials to dig in,” Callahan said. “I have full confidence that our city executives and elected leaders will act with a sense of urgency to bring this dream to fruition in record time.”

Kevin Dougherty, a real estate developer and Miracle Mile property owner who co-chaired the ad hoc committee with Callahan, said the district is set for a significant revitalization.

“Over the next few years, the district will see comprehensive upgrades to streets, sidewalks and traffic-calming measures, which are expected to stimulate substantial private investment,” Dougherty said. “These public and private improvements will create a safer, more inviting environment, enhancing the overall experience in this walkable midtown shopping and dining district. By fostering a vibrant community space, this renewal project promises to boost local businesses and enrich the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.”

Maria Blandizzi, vice president for Student Life at Pacific, said the changes will strengthen ties between the university and the shopping district in ways that will appeal to Pacific students.

“Students look forward to more local entertainment, dining options and plentiful shopping, all within walking and biking distance from campus,” Blandizzi said. “The improvements to streets, sidewalks and more also will add to the ambience along The Miracle Mile.”

The Miracle Mile business district is 12 blocks along Pacific Avenue from Alpine Avenue just south of the university to Harding Way and six more blocks on Harding between El Dorado Street and Lincoln Street. It includes more than 150 retail, dining and professional businesses.

Developer Joe Plecarpo designed the Mile based on a similar business district on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, even purchasing palm trees from an LA nursery that remain today. The Miracle Mile was created in 1922, two years before University of the Pacific moved to Stockton.

The full report of the Ad Hoc Workgroup of the Miracle Mile Improvement Project can be found here.