Yesterday FresnoBee.com posted an article about a new development that has been proposed for northwest Fresno. El Paseo would be a 238-acre mixed use (meaning entertainment, retail and office) center located on Herndon just east of the 99 freeway.
The project has run into some road bumps — neighbors worried about traffic, behind-the-scenes issues with the developer and his partners — but also seems to have some steam behind it, as the developer promises that Target is on-board to be an anchor store in the center (though that appears to be the only detail he’ll share).
My first thought when I read about this was, “Oh great, more empty buildings.” I mean, Granite Park, anyone?
My second thought was a more selfish one. Herndon and 99 is my preferred exit in and out of town, as well as my on/off ramp for when I travel to and from downtown (I live in northwest Fresno, a few miles away from the proposed center). How badly is a retail center going to junk up that area, and Herndon in general, traffic-wise? I lived near River Park for four years; I know full well how difficult it is to get on the 41 off Friant during peak shopping hours.
My third thought: What kind of retail center has railroad tracks running through it?
The project will go before the city council Thursday for approval. I’ve already told my city council guy what I think, but I’d like to know what others out there think. Is this shopping center going to draw motorists to Fresno to shop, or is it going to be another Granite Park?
[photo from The Fresno Bee]