Historic Downtown Fresno buildings slowly being brought back to life

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The finishing touches are being applied to the outside of the Rowell Building, restoring its historic facade.

"We've spent a lot of time trying to bring the building back to its original status, and look to keep the history of it," Tracy Kashian of the Lance-Kashian company says restoration is a vote of confidence for downtown.

"We're invested in Fresno," she said. "So downtown only makes sense."

The renovation includes a new building and patio on the roof, and there were rumors are that it will be a restaurant and bar.

"I think a bar would be really fun, but unfortunately, it's not a bar," Kashian said. "It is a conference room."

If you want a drink on a downtown roof, a bar is in the works at the Pacific Southwest Building. The second floor of the 16-story 1923 skyscraper is being turned into a lounge overlooking Fulton Street, and it is expected to be open in October.

'There's going to be a rooftop bar, and so it will be like a Palm Springs style cocktail lounge with mid-century modern furniture," said business coordinator for Downtown Fresno, Chris Rocha. "So they are working on that project right now."

And, what is perhaps downtown's biggest eyesore, the 1912 vintage Hotel Fresno is about to be transformed.

The financing is approved and work on turning it into an 80-unit apartment complex is expected to start in the middle of June. Rochas says much more is on the way.

"Little by little one by one we will see these buildings relight the downtown skyline, which is very exciting," he said.
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