Tag: tower district

2021 Downtown Fresno Construction Update

Would it be Stop and Move if I didn’t post my construction update over a month after taking the photos? Of course not! At least it’s not as bad as my 2020 update.

Anyway, I spent some time downtown and in the Tower District looking for new construction. 2020 was a slow year, obviously due to the pandemic, but development is showing signs of life again, and there a few new housing projects that should pop up quickly this year. If you missed it, I already posted about the new protected bicycle lane and the TOD apartments on Blackstone.

The District

We kick things off in the Tower District, which is downtown enough for me (scandalous I know). New apartments are going up on Van Ness and Alhambra, just a couple of blocks from the Tower Theater. Fresno State archives show this lot has been empty since at least 1977, and probably much longer – that’s crazy! While this is a prime location, and housing will be great to have near the bars and restaurants, they’re unfortunately only doing 18 units. Seems like a missed opportunity really. Oddly, I can’t find a rendering of this project. Click to read more!

The Smart and Final saga concludes: A victory for the Fresno master plan!

I actually began writing this post in early April, and was getting ready to publish under a VERY different title: “Fresno caves on proposed shopping development – goodbye master plan, we barely knew you.”=&0=&

Fresno might get its first protected cycle track!

I’ve been angrily hammering away on an article about the proposed Smart and Final project, but fortunately I found something in this weeks City Council Agenda that has temporarily soothed my nerves: =&0=& and the preparation of a feasibility study for a Class I bicycle trail along the Herndon Canal and Mill Ditch canal banks and to authorize the Public Works Director or designee to sign and execute the standardized agreement on behalf of the City (Council District 1, 3 ,4 and 7)=&1=&

Groundbreaking for new downtown apartment building this weekend

This project has flown under my radar. It’s called “South Tower” and will be on Fulton, just north of the 180 freeway.

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TFS Investments will be putting up this new building directly across from another property they own. It’s going to be in the art deco style which is really interesting, because it respects the architecture of the area, and is something you rarely see going up these days.

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The building will replace what used to be some badly run-down home, and pop up the density of the area.

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I wish it was a floor or two higher, but it’s still great for the neighborhood – and great to show that GV Urban isn’t the only game in town when it comes to downtown residential.

The Business Journal has the news:

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new South Tower residential project
south of the Tower District is planned for 10:30 a.m. Friday at 541 N.
Fulton St. in Fresno. An 11 a.m. coffee reception will follow.

The $4.5-million venture is headed by TFS Investments, which serves
as the owner and developer. Marvin Armstrong, Architect designed the
building, which will feature 32 apartments and eight live-work units.

The two-story building will span 230,000 square feet and feature an art-deco-inspired style. It will stand across the street from TFS Investments’ two-story
Fultonia apartment complex. South Tower was originally called Fultonia
West, but the builder decided to change to a more recognizable name.

Rents at the complex will range from $575 to $900 monthly. The units range from 700 square feet to 900 square feet. Click to read more!

Quick review of Jazzhop and other downtown happening

As I mentioned in my last post, the first ever Jazzhop was held downtown this weekend.

I decided to attend, and so, here are my thoughts of the evening, along with pictures of recent developments downtown.

We started out by visiting GV Urban’s Biz-Werx, which was part of ArtHop but not Jazzhop. This building officially reopened this week after an extensive remodel, taking an abandoned eyesore into a good looking, and potentially lively street corner. The plan is to rent out the first floor into many offices, art studios or similar type of spaces, and the basement to be rented out as storage space. You can tell the building is old, because nobody in Fresno builds basements anymore.

Project website

Main corridor, very sharp looking

Space is available

Outside, the sidewalk was made greener(and pink!), and lots of light

My favorite part about the GV projects downtown is all the light they give to the sidewalk. Downtown is way too dark, which makes it seem less safe and uninviting. Bright white lights make the area feel more alive and walking feel safer.


Also nearby, Fulton Village finally opened last month. I’ve posted pictures of these apartments under construction before, and now here it is finished and lit up at night. Again, the amount of light really helps the street.

But of course the title of this post is about Jazzhop, so how was that?

I had never attended Arthop, so I hadn’t been to any of these galleries before. Most of them are tiny studios with different forms of art. All of it interesting to see, although none took too long to explore.

Jazzhop added music performers to the galleries, so you could look at the art and enjoy music, or come for the music, and enjoy the art in the background.

It’s certainly a good concept, but it’s far from perfect.

Like my thoughts on Fuse Fest, I thought there was a shocking lack of people. Supposedly, ArtHop has been going on for quite some time, and this was Jazzhops big premiere….and yet, there was no such thing as a crowd. It’s hard to tally up the total amount of people, because there were so many venues, but I’d be shocked if more than 350 people made their way to see the art and listen to music. In a metro area of over a million people, that’s pretty bad.

So why doesn’t Fresno show up? I have no clue. The art was enjoyable, and the music even more so.

And it’s all free.

Anyway, another problem with the event is that the venues aren’t really close to each other, so “hopping” from one to another on foot isn’t that practical. And some of them are hard to find. This is made worse by the limited time, as the event pretty much takes place from 6-8pm.

So after visiting some galleries downtown, we headed to the Tower district for dinner (at Mr. Sushi) and then went to Audie’s Olympic, for some more free jazz music.

In terms of music, this was the best venue, as, you know, it’s actually a music venues. We stayed for a couple of hours of free Jazz jamming.


I hope that the event ends up growing, because it makes for an enjoyable evening, and for the price of free, what’s not to like? It’s not like there’s much else to do in on Thursday night. Perhaps that’s the problem? People are just too used to staying home…?