STOCKTON (CBS13) — Home sweet home, at City Hall? Stockton is now considering an unusual idea to transform their historic city hall, into housing.

The would-be housing complex would be called “The Lofts at The Hall.”

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The Stockton city government is moving its services out of the building because it is so outdated. Now the stately structure is the subject of Stockton developer Dan Cort’s inspiration and imagination.

Cort and the city of Stockton are in exclusive talks to convert the historic building into 45 housing units.

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A conceptual drawing shows a lively nighttime scene surrounding the historic city hall as an apartment complex.

(credit: City of Stockton)

(credit: City of Stockton)

The plan also calls for 80 more units of new construction next door.

”When people say, ‘you can’t do it,’ that just makes me more interested in doing it,” Cort said.

The nearly 100-year-old building would need a major remodel.

Inside city hall, the re-use plan calls for converting the bottom floor into a retail center and possibly adding a coffee shop.

The top floor, where the city council chambers currently sit, would be converted into one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.

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There is already opposition to the idea.

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Dr. Wesley Swanson is the chair of the Stockton Cultural Heritage Board.

“The practicality of it working seems extremely unlikely,” Swanson said. “That building is so inappropriate to be converted into an apartment.”

Swanson would prefer to see the historic city hall building converted into a museum or school.

”It is obviously a government institutional building,” Swanson said.

Cort disagreed.

“I think the elements of good planning are right on that site,” Cort said.

Stockton’s attempt at turning a century-old city hall into something different for the next 100 years.

Could this home of civic debate, become “home sweet home” for Stockton’s next generation?

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Stockton city council voted unanimously to approve this housing negotiation for the next 180 days. The city expects to move out of its historic city hall building within the next couple of years.