Rouse Properties buys Fresno's Fig Garden Village

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Life is only going to get better for Fig Garden Village. And it seems people are buying in to Fresno.

Businesses at the Palm and Shaw shopping center are wondering if big changes are ahead for the center. The New York City based Rouse Properties just bought the center for $106.1 million. The firm wouldn't comment on proposed big changes but experts tell us the sale is nothing but positive for Fresno.

Elbow Room owner Mike Shirinian says Rouse contacted him before officially acquiring Fig Garden Village.

Shirinian says they were, "Extraordinarily concerned about maintaining the reputation of the new property they had purchased and were getting pertinent input from the merchants who are here so that we can carry on a successful track record."

Elbow Room has been a staple of the center for 18 years, and have been in a perfect spot to watch Fig Garden grow and change.

Shirinian said, "My indication from them is they want to keep it the way it is and do anything they can to enhance the already wonderful reputation."

Economic experts tell Action News it's a good thing whether there's a facelift or not.

Fresno City College Professor Henry Nishimoto said, "It's a very positive sign that companies are beginning to see Fresno in a different way and it strengthen Mayor Swearengin's point that there's a lot of buzz about Fresno in the bigger world."

Nishimoto says Rouse only invests in areas that will give them a high rate of return. Which makes you wonder, what someone in New York City, is seeing in Fresno.

"I think what they're seeing is an area that's going to be growing economically over the next 15-20 years and if they invest now they can reap the benefits of that," explained Nishimoto.

While there may not be major changes here, experts say we can expect more stores and more revenue to hit the shopping center.

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