FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Mayor Jerry Dyer and City Council Member Luis Chavez announced $8.5 million in funding for phase one of the long-awaited Southeast Fresno regional park and soccer complex.

It’s a long list of amenities Chavez says will soon fill the empty fields on Peach Avenue.

“We know we’re going to have soccer fields, we know we’re going to have baseball fields, green space, trails, shaded areas, barbeque and picnic areas…” Chavez said.

The land was donated to the City of Fresno in 2006, with the intention of becoming a public park. Mayor Dyer said the 2008 recession prevented developments from taking place, but now the city has set aside $8.5 million from the American Rescue Fund to start the project again.

Mayor Dyer also announced plans to expand Peach Avenue in the fall.

“We’re going to widen this to four lanes. We will have bike lanes, curbs, gutters, sidewalks… It’s a 5.8 million dollar commitment from the City of Fresno thanks to some Measure C dollars,” he said.

It’s a facelift that residents of Southeast Fresno say the area needs. Sean Guzman grew up right around the corner from where the park will be and now coaches at Olmos Elementary School.

“I’d always see these fields…something always happening…a wildfire just pops out of nowhere. Finally, we’re able to see some positivity happening. My kids will be able to benefit from this. It’s pretty cool,” he said.

According to Dyer, the city is going to partner with a consultant in July to begin designing phases of the park. For Peach Avenue construction, he says that will begin in the fall and will finish by summer 2023.