At the meeting on Oct. 2, the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council Arts Commission presented a $7,500 check to the Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley Foundation.

Tehachapi real estate prices are rising, the Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley hospital is operating at a steady pace and new energy projects may be coming to the area. All these topics were discussed at the Oct. 2 Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council meeting. 

Real estate prices for the area compared to last year are continuing to increase, said Terri Juergens, broker and associate with Country Real Estate, who spoke on behalf of the Tehachapi Area Association of Realtors.

"The good news is our values have gone up 8 percent. The average for the whole area is $294,000; last year it was $281,000,” Juergens said. She added that housing values in city limits have risen 12 percent.

Adventist Health

More than 100 surgeries have been completed at the new hospital since its opening, said Alida Lorenz, manager of acute care and education.

Services offered include podiatry, orthopedics, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular surgery, Lorenz said.

The public is invited to a discussion as an orthopedic surgeon speaks about knee, hip and shoulder replacements. The event will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 16 in the hospital's cafeteria.

Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley Foundation received a donation in the amount of $7,500 from the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council Arts Commission.

Supervisor Zack Scrivner

Renewable energy projects and more economic growth may be coming if community choice aggregation is developed.

Second District Supervisor Zack Scrivner said that battery power storage may be one way to help the area and this option is being investigated.

"We would be able to potentially provide power at a lower rate than the traditional utilities could. This would be for unincorporated areas of Kern, but cities could come on (board) with us as well, as partners,” said Scrivner.

He said that according to some companies, the cost for batteries has gone down 35 percent since 2018 and they predict over the next two decades the costs will go down about 65 percent.

"We may have the ability to provide incentives to businesses to develop here," Scrivner said. "Say we are able to offer power at a competitive or more competitive rate of what they could get if they were looking at another jurisdiction. And so it could be a real ability for us to bring some more economic growth. We are always looking at different ways that we can continue to grow the economy here and so I think with the battery (power) storage we will see a lot more projects."

Tehachapi Arts Commission

The president of newly formed Tehachapi Arts Commission, Dwight F. Dreyer, said the commission is preparing to host at least 29 professional artists to paint around Tehachapi in May. An exhibit of the work is scheduled for July.

This may be an opportunity for attracting collectors and an even larger art event.

“Our mission is really to take this beyond the regional show and we would like to go national," Dreyer said. He added, “I believe Tehachapi can take this on, because unlike Carmel, we have more than just ocean scenes; we have a very diverse friendly town.”

If Tehachapi can develop a national-level show comparable to that in Carmel, Calif., or Jackson Hole, Wyo., and other areas in the U.S., it can attract more people, said Dreyer.

City of Tehachapi

Some structures in downtown are changing.

The Stop Staring clothing store on Tehachapi Boulevard has closed and the location will be occupied by an established business, Old Vineyard Charm.

“They are closing their storefront because they are so busy with their internet sales,” City Manager Greg Garrett said.

Kmart is closing and the city is “working closely with the owners of the building,” and the space may be divided into two to four suites with possible retail opportunities, Garrett said.