SJCOE plans to turn the State Hotel into the headquarters of Stockton’s downtown tech hub

Just a few years after its deal to purchase Stockton’s Kendall Building fell through, the San Joaquin County Office of Education bought the former state hotel as part of a new effort to install a downtown headquarters for its software engineering department, CodeStack.

“But the result, they are there. And they will be downtown,” said Michael Huber, executive director of the Downtown Stockton Alliance.

“Something downtown, something cool”

CodeStack aims to turn the hotel building into a tech hub that will attract other downtown tech companies, according to a statement from the Office of Education.

The county office of education purchased the building and an adjacent parking lot from Star Property LB Investment LLC for about $1 million, said office spokesman Zachary Johnson.

Located across from the downtown transit hub, the three-story 1920s-era hotel building will house offices and classrooms for CodeStack and its software engineering school, CodeStack Academy, according to the release.

The San Joaquin County Office of Education purchased the old State Hall building at California and Channel streets to house their CodeStack Academy.  “But the result, they are there.  And they're gonna be downtown,

“If you look at tech companies as a whole, they’re still in a kind of urban downtown,” said CodeStack director Johnny Arguelles.

“That’s what we want to do…something downtown, something cool, in a setting where there are things to do.”

Manifesting this vision will require extensive renovations, according to Arguelles. “It takes a lot of work. It’s like completely drained.

CodeStack would also join a growing downtown education hub, Huber said, including California State University, Stanislaus and several charter schools.

‘Rising from the ashes’

The State Hotel deal represents CodeStack’s second push in about three years to establish a downtown base.

CodeStack first attempted to move into the Kendall Building at 430 E. Weber Ave., another 1920s building that needed major upgrades. The Office of Education reached an agreement to buy the Kendall from owner and developer Ten Space in 2019 for $3.4 million.

The deal fell through when both parties failed to meet agreed criteria for the purchase, Johnson said.

The State Hotel deal is unlikely to meet the same fate, according to Johnson. “One of the reasons this is going to work is that ownership and transfer of ownership is not dependent on making the improvements.”

The San Joaquin County Office of Education announced the purchase of the historic Kendall building in 2019. The contract to purchase the Kendall fell through, but in June the office announced a new deal to buy the State Hotel building on California Street.

The Office of Education has yet to hire a contractor to renovate the building, Johnson said.

“We’re happy that not only is the building being renovated…we’re happy that Codestack is finally downtown,” Huber said.

“(Stockton was) seen as rising from the ashes with investors…then COVID hit and it slowed everything down. But I think we’re starting to get that momentum back downtown. »

Record journalist Aaron Leathley covers business, housing and land use. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @LeathleyAaron. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at