FRESNO, Calif. - Lots that sat empty for years in Northwest Fresno are now seeing activity. At Herndon and Brawley, stores like Tractor Supply Company are up and running while others are taking shape.
Fresno Mayor Lee Brand said, "I think the entire economy here is growing. Fresno is at eight-percent unemployment compared to other parts of the state and nation, which are at five and four. We were at 11-percent a year ago and we were 18-percent five years ago."
Mayor Brand said Fresno is seeing positive signs and companies are ready to invest in building new businesses.
United Health Center is expanding its operation. At the northwest corner of Herndon and Brawley, an administration office is going up. The company said it will allow employees to work out of a Central space.
The 53,000 square foot facility will be one story and replace the existing facility in Parlier. The health center serves thousands of Valley residents.
Across the street, crews have started to make the way for a new gas station and bubble clean car wash.
Down Herndon, closer to Highway 99, the mayor believes El Paseo project has been successful.
"There's a demand there. The anchors come, then other tenants come, and I saw a lot of people there and the area is still in the process of being developed."
Part two includes a movie theater, stores and shops south of the existing facility.
Mayor Brand said building Veterans Boulevard would be key to adding to growth. While he's an advocate for infill in the city, he said growth is positive for the economy.
"We have a lot of stuff going on and it's all being driven by the market. Again, market forces drive. We can only incentivize and try to clear the path, hopefully they'll be successful."