The city of Clovis plans to use a $295,000 state grant to improve the Shaw Avenue corridor from freeway 168 to Clovis Avenue.
Getting Fresno State students and staff to eat or shop east of freeway 168 has been very difficult. Clovis Development and Economic development director Tina Sumner said, "That is really a roadblock."
Every day an estimated 60,000 car trips are made down the crowded Shaw Avenue corridor. But with so many shuttered businesses and vacant buildings not many people have reason to stop.
Large retailers certainly don't want to set up shop in obsolete areas. Sumner explained, "The style of the shopping centers, the age, the way that they look just isn't part of the retailers business model."
Sumner was excited the city received the grant to revitalize the area. Cindy Dunn runs a consignment boutique called "Sinbad's Closet." She hopes the city comes up with a proposal business owners can buy into. Dunn said the plan can, "Really identify where there are gaps, they can identify more about demographics of area and also how to get people from other areas to shop here."
Clovis deputy city planner David Fey said no limitations will be placed on the plan. He likes the idea of building affordable housing on the Shaw corridor. Fey said, "If someone at the end of this process who lives north or south of Shaw avenue says I'd like to live in this place we're planning I know we've hit our sweet spot."
Over the next few months Clovis city officials will meet with business and property owners and the public to hear their ideas.