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Austin and Anna Smith are co-owners of Sage Equities, and Anna is also a business columnist for The Bakersfield Californian. Take a glimpse into the lives of a couple who returned to Bakersfield on purpose.

Austin + Anna Smith • Sage Equities + Be in Bakersfield

We grew up in Bakersfield and honestly thought our time here had expired after moving away for graduate school and work. We lived in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and then much to our own surprise, we decided to return. Bakersfield is burgeoning, and we wanted to be part of this city’s new chapter.

One big reason we came back to Bakersfield was because we saw strong demand for walkable downtown living. Nobody was filling this need. So we thought: “Why not us? Why not now?” We co-founded Sage Equities, a boutique commercial real estate services firm. We hope to accelerate the revitalization of downtown Bakersfield by connecting capital with meaningful downtown projects. We offer commercial sales, property management and development services. Our mission is to provide quality residential and retail projects in our city center.

We are the developers behind 17th Place Townhomes, Cafe Smitten and The Cue, a 53-unit project soon to be built in Eastchester.  

If we’re honest, taking the leap to start our own business and work together everyday on causes we care about deeply was a little scary. But we knew Bakersfield was a place where we could really make a difference and be part of a growing community. We are inspired every day by the people we work with as we bring ideas from major metropolitan areas back to our hometown.

It’s fun to push the envelope and do new things in a place that hasn’t always been known for progressive thought. It can be challenging to pioneer novel ideas and projects, but it's rewarding to see and experience the impact.

The future of Bakersfield is bright; there’s a world of untapped opportunity here. Our community is welcoming, and the people are warm. In the future, we hope Bakersfield becomes even more diverse and welcoming for new residents, industries and ideas.

We’d like to see Bakersfield continue to grow and thrive — we feel a momentum here since we’ve returned. Things are changing for the better. This town is really growing up.

We’re inspired by a lot of the small business owners that are taking risks in our city. There are so many passionate people here creating and collaborating. The city feeds off that energy.

If you want to live in a place where you can engage in innovative and impactful work, the opportunity exists right here in our community.

Be challenged in Bakersfield.

Connect with Austin + Anna: Sage Equities

Click here to watch Austin + Anna’s story firsthand

Be In Bakersfield