Sunday, April 14, 2013
Blog Post 2: Albert Chang
Revival of Downtown Fresno
The term Fresno, meaning ash tree was called by Spanish explorers because of white ash trees along San Joaquin River. The town did not begin to thrive until the late 19th century. Fresno started to bloom after the development of raisin and fig market in agricultural. The city is now still one of the top nations in the cultivated business (Fresno: History). Downtown Fresno was the central business district with building erection with Fulton mall, conventional center and exhibit hall. Revitalization of Downtown Fresno will bring brand new business and help improve the real estate market around it. It started to lose benefits after the urban growth to the north of Fresno, creating a fresh central business district.
Fresno can be a better place to live with a thriving downtown. There is the empty business lot in Fulton Mall because areas around Downtown Fresno are in poverty. Business that does not thrive around business district will eventually move out. This will cause negative externalities for Downtown Fresno including crime rate around the business district. If the city does not take action at the moment, Downtown Fresno will not be able to compete with other cities. It is now having the same effect as Downtown Atlanta before the Olympics. Most major business buildings are located north of Fresno on Herndon Ave. There are very little investors into the real estate market in Downtown Fresno, because the city is not taking any action to revitalize it. The city supposed to be the center business district like many other cities here in California, like Downtown Sacramento.
Fresno Future is an organization committed with ideas to help for a better future for Fresno, and the Central Valley held a presentation with our Mayor Swearengin. The Mayor of Fresno stated that building a stronger, more economically vital Fresno was directly related to having a robust business district; we cannot have a healthy city without a strong downtown. She also stated, a city was like a body and if a part from the body is rotting, this will affect the whole city (Judge). This is true because many of the popular cities here in California are healthy city with a robust downtown. Fresno will not be able to reach its peak in the real estate market against any other cities because the city is not able to revitalize the urban core of the city. Even though Fresno is expanding outward, the center of the core will be decaying like a virus that is soon to spread to outer shell.
There are plans already for California’s high-speed rail that will be running through Downtown Fresno. “A trio of American companies outbid four other teams of contractors vying for the contract to build the first segment of California's proposed high-speed train system in the San Joaquin Valley and for several hundred million dollars to smaller extent than state engineers estimated” (Sheenan). There are contractors who made bid to a lesser degree than what engineers had estimated for the total cost of the whole project. The high-speed rail station is claiming to be in Downtown Fresno. The station will soon help revitalize business in Downtown Fresno area, which is going to boost the real estate market and demand back downtown.
Downtown Fresno use to thrive back in the days but is more of a place where the people of Fresno usually avoided. If the city of Fresno, do not action now, then it will create a bigger problems in the future for them. The real estate market has not been doing so well in Downtown Fresno, but it is a great time to invest real estate market there because the high-speed rail is going to run through it. This well creates a higher demand for real estate market in downtown, and it will be the key to revival of Downtown Fresno.
References (Work Citied)
Judge, Cole. "Mayor Swearengin Urges Fresnans to Rethink Downtown Fresno." Urban Current. Urban Current, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. <http://urbancurrent.org/2013/03/28/mayor-swearengin-urges-fresnans-to-rethink-downtown-fresno/>.
"Fresno: History." - Settlement of Fresno Delayed Until Arrival of Railroad. Advameg, Inc, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. <http://www.city-data.com/us-cities/The-West/Fresno-History.html>.
Sheehan, Tim. "Bid of Valley High-speed Rail Hundreds of Millions below Estimates." High Speed Rail. The FresnoBee, 12 Apr. 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. <http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/04/12/3255405/bids-to-start-high-speed-rail.html>.