Work in Progress

Posted by Kim Leonard

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I’m an avid knitter and one of those big things that most of us crafty people share in common are a bazillion WIPs, or works-in-progress. At any given time I have about 4 or 5 WIPs that I switch between. I do this partially to prove to my husband that I’m using my ridiculous stash of yarn and I deserve to be able to buy more, and partially because there are just so many projects to get started on that I hate to wait it out to finish one before beginning the next.

As I was wandering around downtown this morning taking photos of everything I could find that had orange cones, caution tape and the sound of hammers coming from it, I was struck by how our downtown is a WIP in a big way. Where my WIPs are usually limited to shawls and cupcake shaped scarves, downtown’s are big ol’ housing projects and major street construction. My WIPs are to combat doctor’s office waiting room boredom, the stuff happening in downtown is breathing new life and vitality into our urban core. Okay, enough cheesy comparisons. Let’s take a look at what is taking place RIGHT NOW in Downtown Fresno.

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This is at G Street and Tulare, you’re looking at the old Del Monte building which has had several fires over the course of the summer. This is set to be demolished for High-Speed Rail so you can expect the chunk of G between Tulare and Kern to be closed.  If you’re like “But how will I get my Pocky, Mochi and Ramune from Central Fish Co?!”- don’t worry, you can still access the specialty Japanese market from Kern!

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Brio! on Broadway is another one of Granville Urban’s downtown living projects that have popped up. What I love is that they’re building around the existing home and keeping that as a clubhouse for residents. It may seem like a lot of housing has been going in lately- and there has been. The best part is that there is such a demand that as soon as units are ready, they’re filling up. Turns out that people actually do crave an urban lifestyle!

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Speaking of Granville, this project is so fresh I don’t even have a link for it to share here! Work has just begun on the lot that shares space with the Met building and the old Theater 3.

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Lots of work has been happening on Fresno Street at P for months (by the Water Tower).  There are so many projects like this happening around the downtown triangle.

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Lighthouse for Children is poised to be First 5 Fresno County’s new HQ. Watching as it comes together has been really amazing. This place will be such a great asset to downtown and huge for the families in our community.

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Another cool project to watch as it progresses has been City View @ Van Ness, a Housing Authority project. They’re looking to bring in young downtown workers to live in their 40 apartment units. It even features a parking garage for tenants, which is always a huge plus- in addition to all of their other amenities!

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H Street has a lot of road-work action right now, with closures at Ventura, Mono and some sidewalk work as well.

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Just past H on Ventura there has also been a lot of road work over the past months near the tracks. Be advised that if you’re headed to the 99 from Downtown, there will most likely be some configuration of orange cones in this area right now!

Construction is such a huge indicator of a healthy downtown. The sound of the nail-gun, cranes, orange cones are all signs that something big is coming. Things are changing and shifting. This WIP is the start of something that will revitalize our whole region. Now if I could only say the same about my yarn habit!

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  1. There are also apartments going up on Divisadero (http://thebusinessjournal.com/news/construction/13133-new-downtown-fresno-apartments-in-works) and something is being done to the building across from the Fresno Police Headquarters, at Mariposa & M. Lots of construction to be grateful for!

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