Tag: manchester mall

Manchester Center Renovation Moving at Glacial Pace

One year ago I wondered if “the Manchester Center Food Hall was Really Coming?” I recently took a stroll around the mall to see if we could get an answer to that question. I have some good news and bad news.

The good news: Some work is being done.

The bad news: The pace at which the work is being done indicates that there is a single person working on his weekends to complete it. At the current pace, we will all be dead before that person is done.

Background: In May 2015 a company announced a renovation of Manchester Center. A year later, nothing had happened. In September 2016, the Bee reported that work was beginning and phase 1 would be done by Spring 2017. Click to read more!

Is the Manchester Center Food Hall Really Coming?

I love food halls, or em, an “artisan food community”. I’ve enjoyed them in Los Angeles, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. So naturally, I was excited when one was announced for Fresno back in September 2016. Especially because the location was to be inside the Manchester Center Mall.

The plans include a new mall entrance, a redesigned facade with signage, a marketplace or “artisan food community” for chefs, food trucks and restaurants, an exterior shopping area and an outdoor events plaza.
Fresno Bee

At the time, it was supposed to be ready “a long way off, probably opening in late spring of 2017, Bagunu says, though construction has started.”

In January 2017, this was the update:

Inside the mall, renovations are going hot and heavy in the former Gottschalks store, though you wouldn’t know it because windows covered in black plastic hide the mess. It’s the beginning stages of what the mall calls a marketplace – essentially a fancy food court. Click to read more!

Fresno downtown and midtown photo update!

This will be my last Fresno construction update photo dump for awhile! Once again, I’ve gotten far behind and my photos are quickly becoming out of date. So rather than 2-3 posts, they’re all going in here!=&0=&=&1=&

Can Manchester Center Mall be saved?

Built in 1955, Manchester Center Mall was Fresno’s first foray into the suburban enclosed mall template*. Three and a half miles north of downtown, the Mall promised ample parking and an escape from the weather. The concept was indeed successful, and the mall expanded as the decades went by. =&0=&

Mall to mall bike ride is tomorrow

Looking for something to do before work tomorrow? I’m not quite sure why they picked Wednesday, but IBikeFresno is hosting a group ride, with police escort.

If you come from Clovis, it is actually a mall to mall to mall ride.

Where: Starts at the Manchester Sears Parking Lot and ends at Fresno Brewing Company.
Time: Ride departs at 8:15a so you should be there a little earlier. People tend to start gathering at about 7:45a.

Presented by the Fresno County Bicycle Coalition (FCBC), hop on your bike for a fun ride straight down the middle of Blackstone.

The Fresno Police Department stops traffic and allows bikes to take back the road for a few miles. You’ll be riding alongside local elected officials, community leaders, business owners and bike enthusiasts from the Manchester Mall SEARS parking lot and down the Fulton Mall. Then hang out for snacks, pictures and community.

RIDERS FROM CLOVIS: A group ride will be leaving from the Sierra VIsta Starbucks at 6:50a to ride to Manchester Center. Click to read more!

Dying mall cancels outdoor market due to popularity, parking concerns

This new development is quite frankly, baffling.

Say you owned a mall built in the 1950’s, that had seen better days. Much better days. Say almost all your national brand retailers had left years ago, and the entire second floor was now being leased to government agencies and other office uses. Say your biggest anchor, one of only two, went bankrupt and liquidated in 2009, and nobody has expressed serious interest in the location yet. And your other anchor, is Sears, a brand that has fallen on tough times.

In fact, your mall is in so much trouble, someone even took it upon themselves to visit it only to write about how it is a dying mall. And that was even written before Gottschalks died. (Lots of pictures of the mall in that link).

Photobucket
http://www.labelscar.com/california/manchester-center

I’m sure as the owner, the idea of turning things around, and getting people to come by would be appealing right?

Then say a group of organizers approached you, and asked to set up a market in one of your vastly underused parking lots, just one day a week. The deal would be beneficial. They’d have space at a well know landmark, and you’d get exposure and even BUZZ(!) something that has been lacking in your mall for decades. And for both parties, the costs would be minimal. It’s like a fancy new mall expansion, but built with aluminum poles and canvas canopies.

Win, win, win.

So the new market starts.

And it’s a success. People keep coming. Your parking lot is filling up for the first time since you opened over 50 years ago. Your mall is being referred to as a place to go to, and not to lock your doors as you drive by. Trendy blogs are telling their readers to check it out.

Indeed it’s so successful, you kick them out after five weeks.

Wait, what?

The owner of Fresno’s newest farmers market, Manchester Marketplace, announced today he is shutting down due to a disagreement with Manchester Mall representatives.

Paul Gilchrist, who opened the market five weeks ago in the mall’s parking, said in an email that the popularity of his market didn’t sit well with Manchester Mall.

“I have been told there were too many cars in the parking lot, there were too many vendors and the outside vendors are getting more business than the inside vendors,” Gilchrist said in an email. Click to read more!