Mayor Swearengin, City Manager Praise Craig Scharton for ‘Passionate and Unwavering Commitment’ to Downtown Fresno
– Praising him for his “passionate and unwavering commitment” to downtown Fresno, City Manager Bruce Rudd has accepted the resignation of Craig Scharton as the City’s business development director. Scharton’s last day with the City will be Aug. 31.
Scharton, a resident of the Lowell neighborhood, will take over the former Fresno Brewing Company on the Fulton Mall and open Peeve’s Public House and Local Market. Scharton said Peeve’s will celebrate local, fresh, seasonal produce and food products, and he plans to create a portion of the business that will market local produce and locally-made food products, from grapes to wine.
“Craig Scharton has always put his heart and soul into downtown Fresno, so it’s no surprise that he is leaving City Hall to start his own Downtown business,” Mayor Ashley Swearengin said. “While he won’t be coming to work every day at City Hall, we know Craig will continue to be an invaluable champion of Fresno’s revitalization and economic development.”
“I want to thank the Mayor, my friend, Ashley Swearengin,” Scharton said. “It has been an honor to work for my hometown in the areas that also hold my passion: revitalizing our downtown, bringing our older neighborhoods back to health, and building an economy based on our strengths, our local people and our local businesses.”
Mayor Swearengin said Scharton has played a key role in the City’s efforts in downtown and neighborhood revitalization over the past four-and-a-half years. Some of the City’s major achievements include:
- Developing the Fulton Corridor Specific Plan and the Downtown Neighborhoods Plan to lay the foundation for investment in and revitalization of the urban core;
- Attracting investors and/or new owners for the JC Penney Building, The Pacific Southwest Building (formerly known as the Security Bank Building), the Helm Building, Bank of Italy Building, Bank of America Building, Droge Building, Van Ness Cottages, Bungalow Court, and Theater 3, among others.
- Creating the Fresno Food Expo, which connects local businesses with local, regional, national and international buyers. The Food Expo has grown substantially in three years, with 640 buyers this year (including 25 from China, Canada and Mexico), up from 430 buyers last year.
- Helping to start the Fresno Regional Independent Business Alliance, a group of local business owners who work to educate the community about the importance of buying from local businesses, and the Downtown Fresno Partnership, a self-funded group of downtown property owners who advocate for revitalization of downtown Fresno.
- Receiving a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts grant from the “Our Town” program to work with local arts organizations and downtown stakeholders to invigorate Mariposa Plaza as the central destination and gathering place in downtown Fresno.
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