FRESNO, California (KGPE) – In downtown Fresno, the historic Hotel Fresno is undergoing a transformation. The $27-million project gave a tour today showcasing its progress to become a 79-unit affordable housing project.
“Not even the pandemic is gonna derail this historic jewel from being completely renovated and being home to hundreds of families next year,” said Miguel Arias, the Fresno City Council President.
Built in 1912, Hotel Fresno has been vacant since 1983. The plan to transform it into modernized housing units is the first-of-its-kind project for the city.
“You know, it’s a first project and the most difficult project that we’ve ever undertaken in terms of a historical building being renovated in our city.”
One of the first high rises in downtown Fresno, the seven-story hotel had about a dozen failed renovation attempts from various developers. Developer and owner of Hotel Fresno, Eugene Kim is happy to bring the hotel back to life.
“We put a lot of effort into these historical elements. We want to make this project successful for the City of Fresno. So, I mean we put our heart in it, so, yeah, this is important for us.”
Hotel Fresno is on the National Register of Historic places and its renovation must maintain historical elements such as the hallways and its flow of traffic.
“Fresno has a huge following of folks who are history geeks and want to see this project complete and we will save this building to make sure that it’s around for another hundred years,” said Arias.
So far, no extra resources are needed, the pandemic is slowing the progress of workers. The developers are hoping to get an extension to finish by July of 2021. Thursday, July 16, the City Council is scheduled to approve a six month extension to the project.