Image of the University Hospital via Google Earth
published on September 22, 2022 – 11:18 am
Written by Edward Smith
If you are looking for a long-vacant medical building, Fresno County offers the University Medical Center.
According to Sonja Dosti, public affairs officer for the county’s administrative office, the county has initiated the process to divest the property under the Surplus Land Act. The county is assessing its operational needs for two of its offices that will remain on campus.
The City of Fresno had a proposal to purchase the building back in April 2021 with the intention of converting it into apartments. But a conviction of Supervisor Sal Quintero’s former chief of staff, Steve Rapada, over a conflict of interest at the Fresno-based Construction Management Group tarnished the deal.
The building will most likely still become residential if it is sold, said Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau, adding that most of the proposals for the building were for multi-family homes. The supervisors still have to agree to a surplus declaration.
Former state office becomes residential building
The State of California is seeking developers to convert a former state building into affordable housing.
A qualifying application was filed Monday for work on five properties across the state, including one for the old State Water Resources Control Board building on E. Shields Ave. 3374 near First Street in Fresno.
Under the Department of General Services, the properties were declared surplus to use for affordable housing.
State officials hope the building will be converted into 200-250 units, with a focus on two- and three-bedroom units.
The surrounding properties are commercial areas. The state proposes a rezoning to corridor/center mixed use.
The current building is 38,600 square feet and occupies one floor along Shields Avenue, bounded to the south by the Herndon Canal. The building would likely have to be demolished, the tender said.
Other locations included properties in Sacramento, Covina, Atascadero and Oceanside.
Studios will be Campus Pointe’s newest homes
Lance Kashian & Co., the State of Fresno, and city and county officials broke ground on Wednesday for the fourth housing project at the mall near the university.
The project, called 3150 Studio Apartments @ Campus Pointe, will consist of 57 studio units over three floors.
The development will have a lobby, study area and balconies near the bars and restaurants at Campus Pointe.
Sal Gonzales, co-president of Lance Kashian & Co., said the project will take about 14 months to complete.
Oak Valley Community Bank provided the construction loan. Tom Walker, a director at Fresno-based lending firm Capitalize, which has worked with Oak Valley, said the bank is able to provide a construction and permanent loan at a fixed rate, which is becoming rarer as interest rates rise.
Fresno State owns the property at the Pointe campus, with a leasehold lease to Lance Kashian Co. Fresno State officials were required to approve the project.
Debbie Astone, Fresno State’s chief financial officer, said housing is a top concern for students.
“We know our students have a hard time finding housing on campus,” Astone said. “This is a great product that can be affordable, practical and something different.”
The housing units at 3150 are standard market, as are those at Maravillosa at Campus Pointe.
Astone said while it is a market price, the price will apply to many seniors and graduate students.
“We know that in some cases students, particularly upper-class students and graduate students, might want a one-bedroom unit or a one-bedroom unit, and sometimes those are the first to leave,” Astone said.
Does the Canceled Downtown Project Mean Changes for Fresno Developers?
Fresno City Councilman Miguel Arias wants the Group of Seven to change the way it approves major projects.
Arias wants the Fresno City Council to require developers to obtain all necessary approvals before going before the council.
The change would come as council members could not get the necessary votes to approve an expansion for the first new building on downtown Fulton Street in decades.
Council members Garry Bredefeld and Mike Karbassi voted against the South Stadium Project—later called The Park—which would have brought nearly a hundred housing units to downtown Fresno. Developers were forced to revise the plan after the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District scrapped the original plans, delaying the project’s start beyond a key deadline.
Now, Arias says, council members expect projects closer to the shovel to be ready before they get to the podium.
Another expansion lined up this year is a long-proposed downtown Fresno housing project by Lance Kashian & Co. on the northeast corner of Van Ness Avenue and Stanislaus Street.
Gonzales and Lance Kashian said they are still pushing the project forward.