OPTION 2: RECONNECT STREET GRID WITH VIGNETTES

Visual depiction of Option 2. Shows what an newly-paved street and a vignette will look like. For each vignette, there will be no parking allowed. The vignettes display the old design of the Mall. Street lighting will be improved, store signage will be more visible and the facades of upper floors will be taken down to make more residential and offices available.

Features

  • Vehicular traffic going both ways.
  • Six vignettes direct cars around most of the original artwork. These vignettes have the mall’s original pavement and artwork.
  • All of the major streets that go through the Fulton Mall open up to cars and on-street parking.
  • 127 on-street parking along Fulton Street and 117 metered on-street stalls along the cross streets.
  • No parking in the vignettes. The width between the storefront and the street in a vignette area is to be a minimum of 10-feet-wide.
  • Five of the 20 sculptures are relocated at the Mariposa Plaza and throughout the Central Business District.
  • Streets can be easily closed for special community events.

 

Economic Impact

  • Ground floor vacancies decrease from 26%  to 15%
  • 401,300 sq. ft. of newly occupied space.
  • Annual gross sales revenue increase by 50%, from $92/sq. ft. to $138/sq. ft. This is 37% of the national average.
  • Average annual sales increase by 12%.
  • Average rents increase by 8-10%.

 

Revenue & Cost

  • Construction Cost: $11.4-12.8 million
  • Maintenance Cost over 30 Years: $4.2 million.
  • Parking Revenue over 30 Years: $12.5 million.

These figures were estimated by a consulting firm. I have heard that each option will cost around the same to construct; $15-20 million. The City is applying for grants -up to $20 million- to help with the construction. The general trend is that a street will cost the least to maintain and more parking will generate more revenue.

 

Aquarius Ovoid (pictured in front of the Fresno Brewing Company) is one of the 15 art features that will remain in their current place. Other water features that will stay in their current location are: part of the clay pipe water feature, Dancing Waters, Valley Landing, and Obos.

 

Support

This options is supported by Mayor Swearengin. She stated her reasoning in her State of Downtown Address. The reasoning is that in order for Downtown to be healthy, the economic conditions of the Mall need to improve without sacrificing historical significance. Think of it as a compromise aimed to please the most people in Fresno.

Option 2 is Downtown Fresno Partnership’s second choice.

The Advisory Committee of the Fulton Corridor Specific Plan (FCSP) favors this option, along with Option 1.

 

Opinion

The following are my opinions regarding Option 2. Please contribute your opinion in the comments. I usually steer away from expressing my opinions on this blog but this is a great opportunity to feel more confident expressing my views as a real estate broker. Please don’t let me foolishly think I know everything!

Most of this option’ good and the bad are similar to the arguments I made about Option 1 (link).

Compromises are not the most efficient – It makes sense that this option was selected as one of the alternative plans and is supported by the Mayor. It opens the Mall to vehicular traffic while still preserving most of the Mall’s art and design. However, I don’t think this compromise is the best approach in maintaining economic stability, in the long-run.

Uncertainty of Vignettes – The vignettes cause the road to curve making it uncertain if it will support a future street car. It is unknown how much the width of the roads and sidewalks will increase or decrease. There will be no parking on the vignettes, meaning some businesses will not receive the same exposure. These impacted business will be restricted when it comes to outdoor seating or signage.

 

North end of the Mall. Click on the photo to enlarge the map.
South end of the Mall. Click on the photo to enlarge the Map. The road will be curved to make the transition from a road to a vignette smoother. The Mariposa Plaze will turn into a round-a-bout with space reserved for only pedestrians.

 

Online Sources

DRAFT Fulton Corridor Specific Plan

Fulton Mall Alternative Plans – Economic Analysis

 

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Have a lovely day in Fresno!

Veronica Stumpf, Co-Broker

Stumpf and Company, Commercial Real Estate

DRE Lic. #01906952

 

 

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I'm a commercial real estate broker at my family's business, Stumpf & Company. I started That Fresno Blog in 2011 to learn more and spread the word about my hometown, Fresno, CA. In the process, I became passionate about downtown Fresno and swing dancing. Have a lovely day in Fresno!

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