Rebirth of the Dream: Granite Park

FRESNO, Calif.

Fresno took possession of part of the Granite Park development on Cedar near Dakota after the city backed development defaulted on its loan payments.

The current plan is to re-open its baseball diamonds just as a new restaurant prepares to bring in new and permanent jobs to the commercial side of this central Fresno location.

Here's how it all started.

In 2004 the now parched playing fields and surrounding soccer fields were used teams of kids and adults alike.

A year late the city of Fresno invested $5 million to help the private development side of the location that was already underway. But the owners went into foreclosure. The city then another paid $5.6 million to maintain control of those abandoned athletic fields.

Fast forward to City Hall 2010 as signs of new commercial growth appears at Granite Park and a new plan surfaces to re-open the baseball fields.

Assistant City Manager, Bruce Rudd told us, "From the commercial side, they just signed a new tenant: Yosemite Falls. So that's a positive.

The continuing growth he says provides an opportunity, "Our primary focus right now is to get the three baseball fields, the concession stand and the batting cages back up to code and operating condition." Private investment and management he adds is the key.

But City Hall isn't the only place that's looks forward to that happening. So is the latest addition to the restaurants in the Granite Park location.

Manny Perales, General Manager of the Yosemite Falls restaurants told us, "I used to play soccer right over there, my kids played soccer over there."

Perales is turning what was an Irish Pub into the 4th Yosemite falls restaurant and believes this one will be a success. He's shooting for a September 27th opening. And it will bring with new and permanent jobs, "About 130 people. We start interviewing in a couple of weeks."

Back at City Hall Rudd isn't saying who the private investors are but says they well are established and local, "These investors have been around for quite some time and are well known in the community."

Work, he adds, could begin in September and be ready for spring ball. It can't come soon enough for the restaurateur and fan of homemade baseball," The city tells me they're gonna bring that baseball diamonds back and hopefully in the future the soccer fields come back and this area can be booming again."

Will that field of dreams become reality? We'll keep you up to date on all the action!

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