Housing Watch: New affordable housing complex in Fresno's Chinatown

Fresno Housing received over 3,000 applications from people seeking to move into the 56 brand new, income-based units.

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Thursday, November 10, 2022
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"The Monarch" in the Chinatown area is quickly taking shape and people may start moving in before the new year.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- "The Monarch" is designed to help revitalize a forgotten part of Fresno.

The affordable housing complex in the Chinatown area is quickly taking shape and people may start moving in before the new year.

"Number one, this represents transformation," says Fresno Housing CEO Tyrone Roderick Williams. "Number two, it represents the future for families of many different incomes."

Fresno Housing received over 3,000 applications from people seeking to move into the 56 brand new, income-based units.

Some feature impressive views of downtown through very large windows - even balconies - that can be used by the local workforce.

"We have a lot of studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, some smaller units that will certainly cater to a lot of entry-level positions in downtown," says Fresno Housing Chief Real Estate Officer Mike Duarte.

Artwork in the lobby will connect Chinatown's past with the future. It includes the railroad and high-speed rail.

The second floor features an outdoor activity deck.

''On this deck will be opportunities for green space, for gardening, for barbecuing, for exercise," Duarte said. "This is where families and the community can gather."

Solar panels have been installed on the roof.

"This property has solar and high-efficiency systems in the building all around," Duarte said. "The residents can expect no utility bills here."

Crews from Johnston Contracting have been working on the four-story building for two years.

In addition to offering affordable housing, The Monarch may also put Chinatown in a new light

"What it means to the area is investment is coming," Williams said. "A lot of times, we talk about what's coming. This says that Fresno Housing not only talked about it, but we delivered."

Governor Newsom recently appointed Williams to the Board of the California Housing Finance Agency, which oversees funding for affordable housing projects around the state.