Plans for a community food market in downtown Fresno offers vendors a space across Chukchansi Park

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FRESNO, Calif. (YourCentralValley.com) — Plans to transform an old, city-owned dilapidated building in downtown Fresno into a community food hall and market are one step closer to becoming a reality.

In this year’s budget, the Fresno city council approved district 3’s “Rebuild Plan” which includes $5 million to convert an old produce warehouse into a community food kitchen.

Here are the preliminary plans for the layout:

  1. One section will be a community space that will have a commercial kitchen for mobile food vendors. This is also where vendors can apply to get business licenses to open up their own brick-and-mortar restaurants. The city is partnering with Cultiva la Salud, an organization that works on creating health equity in the San Joaquin Valley, to help food vendors through the process.
  2. Another section will hold microrestaurants and food stalls. This is where customers can dine-in, take-out, or enjoy food outside on the patio.
  3. The third section will be a farmers market where consumers can purchase farm-fresh produce. This section will be operated by Southeast Asian Farmers.

An emphasis is being put on helping mobile food vendors since they did not receive any PPE loans during the pandemic, relief packages, and no financial support from the city, state or federal government.

Currently, the city is working with consultants and aiming to get financing in place by the end of this year. However, the design and construction phase is anticipated to take about a year and a half, so it may be that long before the site officially opens for business.

As of now, the project does not have a name, however, design inspiration will be taken from community kitchens in San Francisco’s La Cocina and Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

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