Hundreds visit Downtown Fresno open house event

FRESNO, Calif.

The weekend event is being put on by Fresno State business students. They're working with developers to show off the uniqueness that is downtown living.

Hundreds of perspective renters were given a rare opportunity Saturday to see the various residential options in Downtown Fresno. Included in that -- a look at beautiful nighttime views of the city.

Scenery is a major selling point for the developers. "It looks nice, everything is getting nicer and it's a cool place to be," said Sam Lopez of Fresno.

Vitality has been lacking in downtown -- at least until recently when developers began building contemporary lofts.

Kate Borders is with the property-based business improvement district, better known as PBID. It's a group of business owners invested in downtown revitalization. "Obviously, the more people that we can get to live in downtown it just makes that vitality easier to occur in downtown."

More than a hand full of buildings were open to the public -- including the Iron Bird Lofts, Fulton Village, and the Pacific Southwest Building.

Brianna Mersereau is a Fresno State business student. She and 19 other students organized the weekend-long event. They're hoping to remove the perception of a dangerous and crumbling downtown.

Messereau admits she thought the same thing when she was told her class would be held downtown. "A lot of us had some anticipation coming down here, because we think it's going to be really, really dangerous. But it's not, it's just like going to any mall area or shopping area."

Pricing is a limiting factor for some, but many of the living spaces come with commercial space attached -- with the idea of working where you live. Some buildings even have cafes and other shops either in the same building or close by.

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