What's Next for Fulton Street?

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The time has come to move past potential and realize a decade's long dream of downtown revitalization. Newlyweds will be able to pull up in front of the old Security Bank building and step inside to enjoy their wedding reception.

"More than anything I think the new generations are going to encourage old ones because a lot of older generations have lost their love for downtown," said Sandra Chaires, Pacific Southwest Building.

But getting visitors to stop along Fulton will be easier said than done.

Lee Leone, of Fresno, said, "No, there's not a store that I would even stop for, not a restaurant, and so, therefore, there would be no reason for me to go down."

Leone and Emily Poulsen remember shopping on the Fulton Mall during its heyday, but right now the Fulton district does not have anything to bring them back.

"Some nice stores and some nice restaurants would be the main thing, and there really isn't anything down there anymore," said Poulsen.

Fifteen years ago Grizzlies Stadium was seen by many as the answer, but questions remain over how best to unlock downtown's potential. An entrance featuring artwork and over-sized baseballs figures to be a hit at Chukchansi Park.

Fresno Grizzlies General Manager, Derek Franks, said, "What our fans over the years have said they're looking forward to when downtown gets to a point where we can call it revitalized, is things to do before and after the game."

Franks said people will feel comfortable when there are places nearby to eat, drink, and socialize.

Yonas Paulos of Fresno said, "It's just struggling man. I wish in the off-season-- concerts they promised that, the city. They're gonna do this, gonna do that. None of that Dale."

Yonas Paulos said friends are scared to come downtown and hang out.

"It is difficult. There's some type of fear factor. They don't want to come down here; they'd rather go to River Park."

But people like Woodrow Dixon-Pandy are always looking for someplace to enjoy a family meal and something new.

"Fish and lobster and shrimp, like that you know because there's a lot of people from all over the world that are coming to Fresno."

Fresnans are walking a fine line between the right path and a dead end. Time will tell whether Fulton the street was worth the investment.

Downtown Fresno Partnership CEO Craig Scharton said, "I would argue downtown revitalization starts October 21st."
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