Meeker-Baker Renovation Begins With Groundbreaking Ceremony

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Photo by Sarah Bennett

Millworks inaugurated the official groundbreaking of the second phase of its North Pine Avenue development at the historic Meeker-Baker Building Monday.

And did so complete with sledgehammers, cocktails and hor d'oeuvres.

The day marked one of the last steps Millworks is taking to create Molina Healthcare's new IT center at the heart of the Historic Old Pine Avenue district--stretching from 6th to 7th streets along Pine Avenue, subsuming the aforementioned building as well as the renovated Press-Telegram Building, to open in June.

The development is, according to Vice Mayor Robert Garcia, important to revitalizing a neighbhorhood that lacks pedestrian and civic activity.

"I live one block away from here," Garcia said. "This is my neighborhood... And this development is such an important piece to making this neighborhood thrive. It will bring 1,000 employees right here to shop, work, and eat."

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Model of the new Meeker-Baker building. 

The massive undertaking of Millworks on these two buildings--which John Molina emphasized were "symbolic of my father's vision"--will create over 200,000 sq. ft. of new office space while bringing an estimated $2 billion over 10 years to the community.

Michelle Molina, part of the Millworks family spearheading the project, was both humble and excited about the project.

"You were invited because you are a part of this project--either now or in the future," Michelle said. "We have given a lot of accolades in formal ways but we truly could not have done this without you."

The Meeker-Baker Building, which will complete the project in its entirety, is expected to open in July of 2014.

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