The PBID Partners of Downtown Fresno recently hired a new president, Kate Borders from Milwaukee. One of their first orders of business with the new head was voting to destroy the mall, and turn it into just another street. A week later, the mayor’s office released her preference on what to do with the mall, and her preference was to return it to cars while leaving some token reminders of what once was.
Fortunately, things move slow in politics, and when funds are tight, even slower. As such, even if the mayor gets her way, the Fulton Mall will be around at least until 2014.
For many in Fresno, the reasons to go downtown are few. 40,000 people work in the downtown core, but have little incentive to stay after work. The PBID doesn’t have the money or power to transform downtown in one swoop, but can continue bringing people downtown with the same kind of events that have been working for the last few years. That is, even though they voted in favor of destroying the mall, they, nor the city, actually has the money to go through with it.