Fulton Street nearing completion

FRESNO, Calif. - The transformation of the Fulton Mall into Fulton Street is almost done. The project started last year as part of an effort to create a booming downtown Fresno.

Craig Scharton, Fulton District manager for the Downtown Fresno Partnership, said the north and south ends of the street are expected to be completed by May 8. The middle section, however, is set to be finished a couple months after May.

Cars will be able to drive through once the project is completely finished.

Downtown Fresno Partnership shows the street is car-ready in a new video produced by Top Hand Media, where former Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin is shown driving a Jaguar on Fulton Street.

On Monday, construction crews were hard at work to make sure all the work is done on time. Scharton said the changes will help shape a new entertainment district for the Central Valley.

"When you think about the downtown (areas) you like to visit, what do you usually do when you're there? We go out to eat, out for drinks and we listen to live music," said Scharton.

It's the kind of downtown Tino Zaragoza wants to see. A born-and-raised Fresnan, he remembers when downtown was the place to avoid. He's now trying to relocate his business, Copper Ridge Solar, from Clovis to the Fulton Street strip.

He wants downtown to be a place for families.

"(It's so families don't) have to go to north Fresno or somewhere miles away," Zaragoza said. "We can make (downtown) the birthplace and grow from there."

For many navigating the construction now, the street's completion can't come soon enough. Especially for business owners on the Fulton Mall and for people trying to find the shops.

Downtown Fresno Partnership said new businesses are already planning to move in, including Departure Industries, which will take up space in the T.W. Building on Tulare Street.

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