Three new Tehachapi businesses are coming soon — Panda Express, The Village Collective and Kern Schools Federal Credit Union. They are moving toward the construction phase as the architectural design and site plan reviews were approved or finalized by the Tehachapi Planning Commission Monday night.

Panda Express, a 2,381-square-foot building, is to be located on the northwest corner of the Walmart parking lot and include a drive-thru.

The building style will adhere to modern designs and colors outlined in the Tehachapi General Plan with metal trim, canopies and large windows. No information is available yet for the exact opening date.

“Everyone is excited about the restaurant,” Commissioner Kim Nixon said.

The Village Collective is a co-working space that will have offices for lease, a public meeting space, cafe and potentially a salon and spa. The more than 10,000-square-foot building is the former St. Vincent de Paul thrift store located at 122 S. Green St. and is now being remodeled.

“I think it will complement (the area), but still be unique and independent and stand out on its own,” said Nikki Cummings, co-owner of Mountain Top Real Estate Holdings, LLC.

The building will follow an urban contemporary design and have different entrances within one building.

“The intent here is to create sort of a mixed set of facades that are appropriate for a downtown,” said Jay Schlosser, city development services director. He added, “It’s to create a collection of shops in the downtown area, which we think is very appropriate for the downtown and actually something we see along Tehachapi Boulevard now.”

Architect Michael Dhanens said, “We are trying to do this urban contemporary environment. And some of the things that we drew from had some roots in Santa Barbara style and had some roots in some other kinds of modern things that we looked at.”

The co-working space will help people who work from home, but want a space to meet with their clients without the full cost of renting a building.

“The venue will offer private offices that can be rented monthly as well as offices, workspaces and conference/meeting rooms that can be rented by the hour. The venue will provide a break room, coffee and refreshments, all utilities, printer/ scanner services, a receptionist during regular operating hours, as well as optional 24-hour answering and mail services,” according to a letter submitted in the agenda packet.

Classes also will be offered to help with website development, marketing, assistance with social media, Quickbooks, and networking events, the letter said.

The cafe will offer customers a whole food option with a cold-pressed juice bar, grab and go items and indoor and outdoor dining options.

The goal is to have construction completed and the business opened by August, said Cummings.

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union will be located on one of two lots that are available located on Walmart property. The other lot doesn’t yet have an applicant.

Even though the the Tehachapi Planning Commission approved the plans for Kern Schools Federal Credit Union building on June 10, 2019, the business was included with the “comprehensive site plan” that includes landscaping, lighting, a parking lot and improvements to both parcel lots.

Bob Lewis, applicant for the project on behalf of Pacific Development Group, said, "The project has been a long time coming. In January 2016, we sold the 26 acres to Walmart, and in that sale we retained an option of buying back lots A and B. We have leased lot B to Kern Schools (Federal Credit Union) so they are excited...We do not have a user yet for lot A. Once we get a commitment for lot A, we will come back to the commission for approval."