FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Long before he became a presidential candidate Donald Trump caused a stir in Fresno. Less than a decade ago Trump expressed interest in a housing and golf development which financially veered off course.
In May of 2007 Donald Trump came to Fresno to look over the Running Horse development - a bankrupt southwest Fresno project which was envisioned as a future PGA Tour stop.
On May 25th, 2007 Trump told Action News, "It's a very, very complex process and to make it into a world championship facility everyone is gonna have to work together and make it a great, great place and a great, great facility."
Phil Larson was a Fresno County Supervisor at the time. Larson recalled, "They were interested but we had to do certain things. We had to jump through some hoops like give them free property tax indefinitely and things like that. I was pretty adamant. We don't do that for our other developers and we don't treat our local people that way. Why would we treat somebody from the outside even though it was Trump?"
Amid a great deal of hype and hope, Trump sought to buy the property from then owner Mick Evans for about $30 million dollars. Former Fresno City Council member Mike Dages remembered Trump personally called him.
Dages said, "He wanted the land around the golf course to be picked up by the Redevelopment Agency and in time of course sold to him. I told him I wouldn't support the city putting up any money at all and he wound up hanging up on me."
Larson said Trump never offered to put up his own money to buy the parcel. "It was a jumbled mess."
Trump eventually backed out.
Granville Homes president Darius Assemi and a partner ended up buying the land. In 2014, they planted almond trees across from homes which were supposed to be part of the Running Horse development.