FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A new regional park and soccer complex is coming to southeast Fresno. The project has been 16 years in the making. On Thursday, the Fresno City Council unanimously approved it. 

“The opening of this complex and soccer field could help the kids have something to do, stay out of trouble, to turn that side of town around,” one resident said during public comment. 

“We have underserved youth, somewhere in the vicinity of 90 or more percent,” another public commenter echoed in support of the project. 

“I really see this as a historic vote today by the City Council and the support of the mayor,” said District 5 Councilmember Luis Chavez. 

The federal government gave the 49-acre parcel on Peach and California Street to the city 16 years ago, but Fresno did not have the funds to build or maintain the $20 million project until now.

“The significance of today is just huge because southeast Fresno will finally have a regional park that people can go to and have regional parties, have celebrations, have soccer fields,” said Chavez. “We’re gonna build some basketball courts there as well.”

Measure P and federal funds will be used for the complex. 

“We have about $35 million every single year that the city is gonna receive as part of Measure P, so we’re obviously gonna be looking at utilizing some of those funds for our first phase,” said Chavez. 

The city will be working on Phase 1 this year. The funding plan is expected to be ready in about two months.

“Phase 1 will include the soccer fields, the trail, the shaded area. That has a price tag of about $6 million,” said Chavez. 

The project will also include recreational and after-school programs.

“Part of the comments that we received earlier were part of the Roosevelt Soccer Youth League. They have over 400 young children and youth that they work. And so this will really be a venue for them to go on practice, go on play,” the District 5 representative said. 

Chavez added they’re expecting to break ground in about six months, and phase three should be completed by early 2023.