FRESNO, California (KGPE) — Hotel Fresno has been a part of downtown’s history since 1912 and will reopen as the area’s latest and largest residential development this June.
The affordable housing units will range from one to three-bedroom units from 500 to 1,200 square feet. The ground level will include retail and a common area for community events, while the upper six floors will host residential units.
The units are available for individuals making under $40,000 a year or families making under $80,000 a year.
City Councilmember Miguel Arias, whose district includes downtown, said the housing project was a long time coming and will be worth it once construction is complete.
“Many thought we wouldn’t get to an actual renovation, but so far we are on budget and on schedule to finish up this summer and for this historical building to open up again,” he said.
As of now, construction is in its final stages. The building is getting electrified, appliances are installed, and developers are working to get the final permits for the interior and facades of the building.
Over the years, Fresno native Chris Rocha was drawn to the hotel’s old architecture and began collecting artifacts from the hotel in 2013, purchasing them on sites like eBay. Rocha’s interest in the hotel eventually turned into a project called “Saving Hotel Fresno,” a Facebook group dedicated to preserving and featuring some of the artifacts from the hotel and, once construction is complete, displaying them.
Once construction on Hotel Fresno is complete, another five-story housing complex will be built directly behind the hotel. Additionally, a newly-built parking structure will serve both buildings. The second housing complex is expected to serve mixed-income families and is said to begin construction in 2022.
Arias says affordable housing complexes such as Hotel Fresno are the final step in the city’s strategy to transition homeless individuals from living on the streets to permanent housing.
“Under Project Homekey, eight motels have already been purchased to act as the second step from living on the streets to eventually living in permanent affordable housing. So far we have built more than 500 new units for the homeless population that we didn’t have a year ago, and the council approved by resolution to purchase three additional motels in the city of Fresno for this purpose, ” Arias says.