Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin addressed those issues at Tuesday morning's State Of Downtown speech at the Fulton Mall. Mayor Swearengin hopes money from the general fund will be available to help offer incentives that will bring developers to Fresno. But not everyone is convinced there is money to do that.
"The developers who have been successful downtown, have done it on their own without a government handout," said Lincoln Club member, Tal Cloud. "United Bank building. Tom Richards and his organization. Cliff Tutorian. They've done it by having the city get out of their way."
"We've got to figure out with the additional revenue that maybe coming to the general fund," said Mayor Swearengin. "Should some portion of that continue to be focused on downtown revitalization? Those are policy discussions I look forward to having with the council over the coming months."
There are signs that business downtown can survive in this economy. The Iron Bird Cafe re-opened this week with new owners and big fanfare. Mayor Swearengin also said the city needs to ease parking restrictions and continue to help out the city's homeless.