Lofts in Old Town Clovis?

This article appeared in the Fresno Bee last week:

Downtown Clovis, known for its old-fashioned Western charm, could soon be getting a piece of the urban lifestyle: residential lofts with ground-floor shops and offices.
Granville Homes is proposing to build 35 loft-type condominiums above commercial and office space at the site of the old Clovis City Hall and the former state Department of Motor Vehicles office. A plaza at the front of the project would serve as an entryway into downtown Clovis where Bullard and Pollasky avenues meet.

This is a promising development.  Old Town Clovis is small, well defined and in relatively good condition compared to downtown Fresno. But it’s far from perfect, as there are many surface parking lots and buildings in bad condition.

Unfortunately, the mayor has fallen into the trap that change is bad.

Mayor Harry Armstrong, who did not attend Monday’s meeting, said in an interview that he is not sure the idea is right for downtown Clovis because the area functions pretty well now.”I look at downtown and we have all these new people who want to change it,” he said. “To make it become a reality, I have mixed emotions.”

Something can function well now and function better in the future. That really shouldn’t be a new concept for anyone. Downtown Clovis is far from perfect. For one, while it’s cute, it has nothing to differentiate itself from similar downtowns in places like Selma. Nobody says “let’s go visit Clovis and their awesome downtown” but people do plan trips to visit San Luis Obispo.
Old downtowns like the one in Clovis grew up on the idea of mixed used living. That’s what the old-west style town was all about. Stores on main street, with the owners living on the 2nd floor, and other residential directly behind it.
The Bee article can be found at:

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