Droge Building construction almost done (photo tour)

The last time this blog visited the site of the Droge Building, on the corner of Van Ness and Inyo, it was June 2014 and the wooden frame was up. A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by to see what is almost the final product. Exterior anyway, the interior won’t be done until this summer.

Unlike every other residential project downtown, this one stands at 4 stories, and you can really feel the difference from the 2-3 that GV Urban builds. The extra height really makes the corner feel more urban. Also, as this project was done by the Fresno Housing Authority, we get a unique facade, and not the recycled one used by GV.

Even better – no surface parking, which usually takes up most of the GV lots. There is a small garage, which residents can access through the existing alley, and not a new driveway. However, that’s only a few spaces, as there is a public garage directly across the street which residents will be able to rent a space in.

Incidentally, the project is actually called “City View at Van Ness.” Droge was the name of the building that was demolished, but I used the same in the title for consistency. 

Let’s take a look:

Prominent look at the corner, good color scheme

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I love the balconies

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Spiral garage visible on the left

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Sadly, like all downtown projects, the street lights continue to suck. However, the accent sidewalk lighting looks very good

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The building has an interior courtyard

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Alley and garage visible on the side

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Ok, continuing with many more pictures after the jump here…

Sidewalk is much wider than the GV projects, but not very green

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These balconies face the alley

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The garage

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Rest of alley

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Fresno continues their policy of closing the sidewalk for no reason

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The street level is decent enough

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Looking up at their private courtyard

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The Van Ness side is built for retail

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The building closest to the camera is a very lovely two story restaurant space, which sadly has gone out of business twice.

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From the garage

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 A short walk to the courthouse

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It looks like shortly after I made my visit, they took down the fencing. The official twitter page had this image recently:

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There’s an official website available, which includes floor plans, but no pricing.

There will be studio, one bedroom and two bedroom units, and what appears to be the world’s smallest fitness room. I’m sure they’ll post interior shots in the next few months.


Anyone know what goes on in this building? Sounded like a party.

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Fulton Mall from spiral garage

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Supposedly, someone is going to develop that lot

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 The garage is 100% free….and 100% empty on weekends.

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 One day Fulton Mall will be open to cars, and look just as lovely at Fulton Street

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I didn’t realize there was a beer garden here

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They need to work on this elevator if they want the residents to feel safe. Just on of 8 lights was working

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And random:
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Many more photos coming soon.

10 Replies to “Droge Building construction almost done (photo tour)”

  1. Oh that looks nice. It kind of reminds me of San Diego. It's good to see some progressive thinking in Fresno like not making a sea of surface parking for a small development. Building higher is another big plus. The facade is lively and modern. Some of the lighting is full cutoff. Also, those cobraheads could easily be upgraded to full cutoff induction lights with a CCT that makes them look like incandescent light.

  2. The Bee is highlighting the 10 new apartments in the old Pilibos building, 2 doors down from these apartments on the old Droge site.

    The building with music would be the Californian.
    It's now Senior housing.

    Surprised you didn't know about the Tioga-Sequoia's beer garden. Some nice events held there such as live bands, hosts one of the venues for the Fresno Urban Sound Experience festival.

    1. Thanks for those links!

      The beer garden apparently opened in April and I hadn't seen it. I have been to the other downtown brewery though, they have a large stage setup

  3. Yes I agree I like the Cityview plan/appearance. The City is gonna have to upgrade the streetlights to make them LED and BRIGHTER so peds will feel safe walking at night. I also love the urban/industrial vibe of the building. Too bad they will have to use that old dilapidated spiral garage thats sinfully ugly…but its already there so y tear it down and build a new one right?(sarcasm*) the better improve the parking garage lights and also in the elevator. Ive been n that elevator at night and it IS spooky. And yes James I think the beergarden ur referring to is T/S brewery. They have a stage n the back for shows and the also give walking tour of their brewery.

  4. Oh yea, and about that BEAUTIFUL spot next to Cityview formerly Heros then Austins. What a damn shame. That place is AWESOME inside. I bet a million bux that if someone cud pick that whole building up and plop it down at riverpark somewhere that place wud BLOWUP in popularity! But its demise was its location. Just my opinion. I hate riverpark BUT thats prime locAtion. Hopefully somebody will invest mony in it AGAIN and put a new name n theme on the building.

  5. Found a nice read on modern street lighting.


    This bit really plays into Fresno. You mentioned previously a street lighting system should be built with redundancies so lights can fail without it affecting the quality of the light well…

    The practice of "spot relamping" (only replacing failed lamps) may seem economical compared to group relamping (where many operating lamps are removed all at once). In reality, group relamping is more economical. It is generally done at 70% of the rated life of your lamps under the operating conditions you have. A crew is equipped and dispatched to do all the lamps in a system at once, saving the time of gathering equipment on an irregular but, as the lamps age, frequent basis. All lamps lose output over time due to lumen depreciation and dirt accumulation on the lamp and fixture. When a system is installed it is designed to produce a specific light level and even distribution of light. With spot re-lamping not all lamps will be producing the same amount, and uneven distribution occurs. With spot re-lamping it is not uncommon for a system to be producing only 50-60% of the light intended. Sometimes extra fixtures are "built-in" to account for this—however, that entails additional expense….

  6. Just as a little bit of an extra bonus, watch Portland put both Fresno and Clovis to shame. It's a PDF. Basically the City rebuilt a street and made it more or less of an 'ideal' test site for street light fixtures. They really did double duty on this one creating both a test site and improving the infrastructure. I do believe some of the smaller facets are a bit erroneous, like the oddly overt favoritism to 4000k light and the actual efficiency of HPS, but it's interesting to see a street lit up in such a way.


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