The California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) has awarded $16 million from the State of California Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program to the Blackstone & McKinley Transit Oriented Development project (BMTOD) located at 1501 N. Blackstone Avenue, a mixed-use affordable housing development approved by the Fresno City Council in December of 2017.
The award provides over $12.5 million for construction and $3.4 million for city infrastructure improvements in the surrounding area. When completed, BMTOD will provide an overall investment of more than $38 million in the community through its development company, Integrated Community Development LLC of Woodland Hills and their non-profit partner Corporation for Better Housing.
“This was a collaborative effort between City leaders, the developer and the community to bring much needed affordable housing and attractive amenities to the Blackstone Corridor,” said Fresno Mayor Lee Brand. “This is exactly the kind of project that will bring a dynamic addition to our central city and increase the momentum that is already building along Fresno’s most famous street.”
“This is a big day. We have been working for years with City leaders and the community to bring something special to Fresno – a catalyst that will invigorate investment into this part of the city. This was a true team effort and we are so proud of this achievement,” said Jake Lingo, Senior Vice President at Integrated Community Development LLC.
This development will provide 88 affordable housing units and 6,000 square feet of retail space on the west side of Blackstone between McKinley and Home Avenues, with construction beginning in the first quarter of 2019 with a grand opening tentatively planned for 2020.
Retail space partnerships with Clinica Sierra, Fresno City College and the City of Fresno will provide for 4,000 square feet of retail medical and dental services and a 2,000 square feet Senior Center. The project includes redevelopment of a full city block along Fresno’s new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor, over ½ mile of new sidewalks on Blackstone as well as creating a two-mile Class IV bikeway along Wishon, Fulton, and Van Ness Avenues.
Council President Esmeralda Soria added, “Through its support of this project, the City of Fresno has made a commitment to invest in programs that will provide long-term sustainable economic growth and address the housing needs of our community. This investment kicks off the Blackstone Corridor transformation.”