Mayor Swearengin: ‘Face It and Fix It’ Only Option To Address Issues in City’s Urban Core
Fresno, CA – Mayor Ashley Swearengin today said Fresno must “move past the land of status quo” and face and fix the problems in the City’s downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.
Speaking to a capacity crowd in the Fresno Ballroom at the State of Downtown Breakfast, Mayor Swearengin said, “We have two choices: We either choose to face the problems of our inner city and fix them, or we choose to ignore them and pretend they will go away on their own. I believe we’ve ignored and pretended for long enough, and the results speak for themselves.
“We have been in the land of indecision and neglect and lack of investment long enough. We must part company with the ways of the past and choose to move our city forward.”
Mayor Swearengin said the City will focus on three major areas in the downtown area in 2012:
- Recruiting investors to the downtown, emphasizing the opportunity that exists to invest with all the preparation work that already has been done as well as the Fulton Corridor Specific Plan that is scheduled to be adopted later this year;
- Dealing with the loss of redevelopment funds;
- Improving the visitor’s experience in downtown and at the stadium through efforts such as an ambitious schedule of new events and developing an ambassador program through the PBID Partners of Downtown Fresno;
- Determining the future of the Fulton Mall.
Mayor Swearengin highlighted a number of accomplishments in the downtown area over the past year, including:
- The opening of a number of cafes, eateries and entertainment venues such as the Downtown Hofbrau, Whole Farms Market, Fresno Brewing Company, the Downtown Bistro, House of Hollywood, Brick, Iron Bird Café and Fulton 55;
- The creation of start-up spaces for entrepreneurs at OfficeBay, VentureBay, and Granville’s Biz-Werx;
- The opening of 105 housing units downtown in 2011, with more than 300 now in design and development.
A video of Mayor Swearengin’s remarks and her PowerPoint presentation are available at www.fresno.gov/mayor.
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