Downtown Fresno Loft Living Space to Double

August 4, 2008 10:52:14 PM PDT
City leaders and the community can't agree on the best way to revitalize downtown Fresno. But they do agree you must first establish living space.Not only has developer Reza Assemi met his lofty goals. He has exceeded them. So he's now working on a much bigger project to build more loft apartments.

Seanna Rainey sold her car shortly after she moved into the H Street lofts back in April. Rainey said "We like being close to grizzlies stadium. We like being close to downtown. You know, we ride our bikes down there in the morning and we go have a little coffee."

Both the 26-unit H Street lofts and the 38 Vagabond Lofts next door have been filled since developer Reza Assemi built them.

An 800-square foot apartment is one of the only vacant units available. Assemi said "It's exciting to see the community coming together down here and see the neighborhood really to start forming."

Now Assemi is ready to break ground on a bigger project downtown. A vacant lot at Fulton and Divisadero will be transformed into the two-and-a-half acre Fulton Plaza. Assemi said "The concept behind it is to create an anchor point for the cultural arts district. Sort of the place for the public to gather that has town homes, lofts, flats, commercial space."

The street bisecting the property, Fulton Place, will soon be paved over. The 20-million dollar project will feature 80 apartments, including 16 three-story townhouses. Only 16-thousand square feet is set aside for commercial space. Assemi said "I think its important to have that commercial but that's more thinking into the future as the area develops more."

Sculptures and murals are prominently featured at Assemi's loft living spaces. Artwork will also grace the seven buildings of Fulton Plaza, which Assemi says will attract young professionals and families. Seanna Rainey said "I know a lot of our friends when they find out we live downtown they're like huh, and then they come over and they're huh, I love it I love it I love it."

Assemi expects to break ground on the project Tuesday. He hopes to have it completed in 18 months. Once again Assemi has partnered with Granville and Pyramid Homes.

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