Fresno community, architects tour Fulton Street

Fresno community, architects tour...

FRESNO, Calif. - The official Fulton Street party isn't until Oct. 21, but some got to see the new street up close and personal on Friday.

The Downtown Fresno Partnership took the San Joaquin chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) on a tour of the revitalization process, including others from the Fresno community.

The street has been closed during the transition of Fulton from a mall to a street. The street is unofficially open to traffic.

Craig Scharton, interim CEO of the Downtown Fresno Partnership, said this is a process that started back in 2009.

"It's really been a long time coming," said Scharton. "A project that started without money, support or a plan."

Scharton led the tour to show the construction's progress. Historic Fresno art has been moved and plazas have been created with festivals in-mind. Even showing where investors would like to create restaurants.

One of those potential restaurants included the 15th and 16th floor of downtown Fresno's Pacific Southwest building. Fresno native Robert Gottselig is a fan of the idea.

"You could definitely see how this could definitely be a lively evening," he said.

Julie Jaurique-Chipps is president of the San Joaquin AIA chapter. She said the event was a perfect way to connect some pieces.

"By collaborating and getting everybody in the know, we can make this something for everyone," she said.

There's still work to be done, as the empty buildings need tenants. Some are getting facelifts to restore the vintage facades beneath. Scharton said some businesses are working with the Downtown Fresno Partnership on outdoor dining permits.

Scharton adds the aim is for more entertainment to revitalize downtown. He said anyone who wants to see the street up close and personal is welcome to contact him.

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