STOCKTON (CBS13) — Thousands of children and their parents visited the Miracle Mile in Stockton as part of the district’s annual Halloween celebration, but things will be a bit different from year’s past.
Over the summer, the district faced a lot of setbacks including nine businesses evicted for having a long list of fire safety code violations, and then the resignation of its director after she admitted to misusing funds.
Halloween brings a lot of visitors to the Miracle Mile, and for many people, this is the first time without some of their favorite storefronts.
“It’s kind of sad, actually. Like I kind of heard about what happened with all that and it’s sad to see it happen because some of those businesses have been here a long time,” said Richard Nelson, a visitor on the Miracle Mile.
Over the summer, the Miracle Mile faced a lot of setbacks including the district’s director resigning after admitting to taking $40,000 from the organization. She wrote a check earlier in October hoping to right her wrong. Then, there are the nine businesses evicted from the promenade building.
“It’s impacted foot traffic down here a little bit when you have a block that is closed, but we’re just doing our best in supporting those business owners,” said Lenzi Leonard, owner of Caterpillar Children’s Boutique.
Over the last few months, leaders have been working to restore trust with merchants and rebuild relationships.
“We have board elections coming up, new board, we’re renewing our property-based improvement districts, we’ve had some very successful events on the miracle mile so, I think people are seeing a turnaround, and we’re going back to the days of when the miracle mile was the heart of Stockton,” said Denise Jefferson, interim executive director of the Miracle Mile.
Work is taking place to help bring most of the nine businesses back to their storefronts. There is a search underway for a new director and the organization also plans to address the investigation of its former director and how it plans to move forward.
“Honestly, I’d like to see some of these buildings go back to code and keep running them, they are historical monuments, these places have been here a long time since before you and I,” said Nelson.
Leaders with the miracle mile district are planning for a busy holiday season that starts with Halloween: holiday celebration Nov. 30 and the unveiling of its first ever live Christmas tree on Dec. 13.