Hotel Fresno Facing Trouble Once Again

September 17, 2008 7:32:52 PM PDT
Fresno's historic Hotel Fresno is once again facing trouble and a wrecking ball. The building's owner agreed to fix substandard conditions or have major financing in place by this summer. If not, the building would be demolished. On Wednesday, a city attorney told a Fresno County Judge both of those benchmarks have not been met. Douglas Sloan is an assistant city attorney. Sloan said, "There are not so much concerns of building pieces failing off the exterior and harming someone below. But it is not a safe building." Action News went inside Hotel Fresno in May. One of the developers Jake Kojikian told how his partners spent more than $1-million to clean up the building and remove dangerous asbestos. Mark Hartney is an attorney representing the project. Hartney told the judge on Wednesday that his clients can't find financing because of the nation's financial melt down. Hartney said, "Lenders are not making loans on commercial property. That is not unique to my client at all. It is a world wide phenomenon."

Developers hope to transform the former hotel to a mix of office space, retail and housing. A judge is expected to release a ruling in the coming weeks that could give the owners more time or order Hotel Fresno to be demolished.

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