Multimillion-dollar boost approved to develop West Creek Village

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The West Creek Village is a combination of residential, retail and parkland adjacent to a planned community college campus in a half mile square bordered by Church avenue, Jensen, Walnut and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Mayor Lee Brand supports it.

"I think it's probably the single biggest economic development in the city's history for this side of town and it takes a big step toward righting a lot of wrongs that have happened over the last 400 years," he says.

The development is planned in an area of predominantly minority neighborhoods. Plans call for more than 100 houses, and nearly 400 apartments, condominiums and lofts, along with more than 300,000 square feet of retail stores. The developer, John Shehady, says shopping is badly needed in this long overlooked area.

"The folks that live there have to drive to north Fresno to get stuff that a lot of folks here are just 5 minutes away," he says.

Shehady says the stores, homes and a big park that will occupy this site will be a boost for the entire city.

"I'm doing it because I think it's something good. At my age I don't need to do it, but it's something I think is a good thing for all of Fresno, especially for that area."

Combined with the adjacent community college campus and a new grade school in the more than 300-acre, site it's expected to help transform the area. Debbie Darden, chairperson of the Golden Westside Planning Committee, says it's the kind of development residents have spent years fighting for.

"Having that come in to fill in a field that's been vacant for 40 years is just a blessing in disguise. Just watching southwest transform into something bigger and better, we are just excited about it," says Darden.

The Fresno City council unanimously approved extending some of the financial incentives provided to Amazon and Ulta Cosmetics to locate in Southwest Fresno to neighborhood developments like this.

The incentives are expected to save about $6 million in development fees and infrastructure costs. Mayor Brand expects the development to attract $200 million in private investment and thinks the incentives are worth it.

The community college is expected to break ground in a year or two, the entire development is expected to follow in three to four years.
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.