Big plan could bring more jobs and change Fresno's technology landscape

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A huge plan is in the works that could change Fresno's technology footprint and create more than 250,000 new jobs. (KFSN)

A huge plan is in the works that could change Fresno's technology footprint and create more than 250,000 new jobs.

Technology hub Bitwise has only been open less than a year, but just announced plans to build a high school and a light rail system to connect Downtown Fresno with rural communities.

"Over the next year, five to eight years, we want to build out 2.5 million square feet of commercial real estate for the expansion of the technology industry in Downtown Fresno," said Jake Soberal, Bitwise Industries CEO.

Soberal said he's excited about plans to expand Bitwise to a four-block campus in Downtown Fresno which would also include a new charter high school.

"Where students would be able to engage in their full high school curriculum through the lens of design, engineering, and development-- all focused on technology."

Once built, Soberal said the campus could be home to 1,000 technology companies and 250,000 new technology jobs in Fresno.

One of the major projects is to create a light rail system. It would actually connect smaller communities to Downtown Fresno. A map of the connected areas show the eight outer points of the county that would connect to Downtown Fresno.

Soberal said they're working with international firms where they've built rail systems in Asia and Europe to bring something similar here to the Valley.

"The goal is in the next five years to be working on this project at the physical level, shovels in the ground, and the goal would be to have folks actually riding some leg of this train in a decade."

The project would be paid for by a private developer and stakeholders.

While these dreams may seem big, Soberal said it's these ideas that could transform our city.

"But big dreaming isn't an exclusive property of big cities. For much of our history, Fresno has been a big dreaming city and we can return to that. We can do really, really, exciting things and make this a special place in the same way that they talk about in the same way as Los Angeles and San Francisco."
Related Topics:
businesstechnologyjobsconstructionfresnoFresno - Downtown
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