Downtown

Acquisitions
2518-2522 Ventura Street The Agency is in escrow with the property on 2518-2522 Ventura Street. One of the two tenants has been successfully relocated and staff is assisting in the relocation of the other tenant. The Agency presented an agreement to the Housing and Development Commission (HCDC) and the Agency Board in late April 2009.

Old Armenian Town Project 
The Old Armenian Town (OAT) project made significant advancements with the construction of the $24 million, 60,000 square foot, three-story 5th District Court of Appeals building and surrounding improvements, boosting a major entryway into downtown Fresno from Freeway 41.

As part of the Old Armenian Town project, five historic homes within the project area were identified for preservation. In June 2008, the Third District Court of Appeals ruled that the five historic homes must be permanently placed at 450 “M” Street, the former Fire Department administrative and training center at Santa Clara and M Streets (450 “M” Street). The Fresno Fire Department had recently relocated to 911 “H” Street in the Hobbs-Parsons Building in Historic Chinatown in April 2008. In December 2008, the Agency completed site clearance of the parcel in preparation for the homes being moved there.

In July 2008, the Agency, prepared a preliminary site plan for the historic homes. A charrette was held in October 2, 2008, during which the Historic Preservation Commission, City and Agency staff, and community members considered best placement of the historic homes under the California Historic Building Code and City Planning guidelines. The charrette provided input for site plan development purposes. The site plan for the historic houses was presented to the Historic Preservation Commssion on March 23, 2009. Members of the public were also present for the presentation. The site plan was reviewed and approved by the City's Planning Department in July, 2009.

Agency staff conducts monthly inspections of the structures and the temporary storage sites, pending relocation to the final site.

Warehouse Row
The former Ice House property in downtown encompasses a city block bounded by P, Inyo and Mono streets, and Santa Fe Street. The existing site contains three multi-story historic buildings constructed between 1903 and 1923. All are listed on the National Historic Register. Two of the historic buildings are primarily vacant and underused. One of the existing buildings is currently occupied by offices, artist studios, a yoga studio, and an entertainment venue.

The developer of Warehouse Row proposes to transform those buildings into an integrated business center, including the adaptive reuse of the historic buildings, construction of new complementary buildings and parking facilities for the site. At completion, the project will yield 133,000 square feet of usable space.

Phase I of the redevelopment will include the adaptive reuse of the two vacant historic buildings, construction of a new three-story building, and a 200-stall parking lot. The intended use of the space is general office, art studios, government offices, and auxiliary amenities, such as restaurants and coffee shop. Phase II is the construction of a new multistory office building with the intended use of large private and government offices. As requested, the Agency is exploring assistance to facilitate the project that may include the parking lot on the east side of Santa Fe Street. The developer anticipates beginning the new construction and rehabilitation elements in summer 2009.

Fresh and Easy
Evergreen Development completed construction of the new Fresh & Easy building in late January 2009, the former site of the Old Fresno Hofbrau. The developer proposed to incorporate to incorporate public art into the project to qualify for a 20 percent minor deviation in development standards. The Agency Board approved an agreement with Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Inc., which ultimately resulted in the development of the store. This store opened on January 13, 2010. Fresh and Easy has plans to open nine more stores through out Fresno.