University Medical Center image via Fresno County

published on November 5, 2021 - 1:20 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The Fresno City Council Thursday took the unanimous step of preparing a $4.25 million offer to purchase the former University Medical Center campus in Southeast Fresno.

The 30-acre property is owned by Fresno County, which had previously agreed to sell the parcel to Fresno Based-based Construction Management Group for $4 million. That deal later fell apart after reports that a county staffer was charged with taking $16,000 from the prospective developer. The City of Fresno pulled the plug earlier this year on its involvement in that deal.

City officials envision a mixed-use affordable housing project at the site of the former hospital that has been vacant for more than a decade.

“This action is an example of how serious this council is to generate new housing,” said Councilmember Miguel Arias. The vote was unanimous, with Councilmember Luis Chavez abstaining because he lives near the property.

While the offer is slightly above what the county had previously accepted for the property, it is a drop in the bucket compared to the total cost the city anticipates to prepare the site for housing and commercial use. City Manager Thomas Esqueda estimated the total cost to be just shy of $35 million — $14.6 for demolition and remediation, $8 million for sewer and water improvements, $3 million for community green space and $9 million for streetscaping.

Mayor Jerry Dyer said if all goes according to plan — which includes the county accepting the offer — a certificate of occupancy for the housing component could be issued in 36 months.

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