Renovated buildings add housing to Downtown Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

The newly renovated apartments are located in the City's Cultural Arts District, an area popular with young professionals.

The Mayflower Lofts at Broadway and Tuolumne offer a penthouse view of Downtown Fresno. The building sat vacant for two decades until Jake Kojikian bought it. His team built on top of the three-story building.

Kojikian explained, "This is where the existing roof was. Now it's four penthouses." The 1,600-square foot penthouses will rent for about $2,000 a month. Glass windows figure prominently in the design. "Being on the fourth floor we figured you'll have a lot of glass. It's got an unobstructed view of downtown."

Smaller units will start at $800 a month. Kojikian and his partner in Pasadena brought the Hotel Virginia back to life and also own the Hotel Fresno. "We were pleasantly surprised with Downtown Fresno. You guys have beautiful buildings here."

Developer Reza Assemi already knew that.

At Broadway and Calaveras the Broadway Lofts welcome you to the mural district. Assemi said, "It's really branding itself into something down here."

Assemi transformed an old tire shop into a 23-unit property which has just one vacancy. Reza calls this area the heart of downtown. "Which is why this project incorporated the heart. That was important to me so you're going to see this heart pattern around the outside, on all the rails inside and for me that sort of symbolizes the heart of Fresno."

A decade ago Reza's father was skeptical people would live downtown. Massoud Assemi said, "To be honest with you yes."

The elder Assemi heads Pyramid Homes. He has now transformed an old office building at Fulton and Divisadero. The units will rent for about $600 a month. Massoud said, "The address is 64 north Fulton and these are all studios so I thought Studio 64 is good name. People are going to remember that."

Studio 64 is located near another Assemi project, the Iron Bird lofts, which has maintained a high residency rate.

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