Built in 1914, the former Gottschalks building on Downtown Fresno's Fulton Street could become the new home of Club One Casino. Photo by Donald A. Promnitz
Written by Gabriel Dillard
The Fresno City Council on Thursday is scheduled to consider plans for Club One Casino to relocate its gaming operations to Fulton Street.
A 53,040 square-foot portion of the old Gottschalks building owned by the city would be the new site if all goes according to a development agreement on the council agenda this week. Club One Casino would purchase part of the former department store as well as the city-owned “spiral” parking garage.
The agreement would have Club One Casino paying $1.7 million for both structures. With a total of 100,000 square feet of space, the building at 830 Fulton St. was home to one of the original Gottschalks department stores when it opened in 1914. It closed in 1988 as the city’s development crept north.
Club One Casino would be purchasing the building in its current state. Given its historic nature, the developer would also conform to “necessary historic preservation processes, when applicable,” according to the agreement.
It would take about $4 million just to bring the Gottschalks building up to code, according to city estimates. The spiral garage needs about $3 million in repairs.
Club One Casino plans to move its current card room, bar and restaurant at 1033 Van Ness Ave. to the Gottschalks building, renovating its two floors and mezzanine area, according to a city document.
The seven story “spiral” garage – known for its distinctive corkscrew-shaped ramps facing Van Ness Ness Avenue – was built in 1968. Its formal name is City of Fresno Garage 7. As part of the agreement with the city, Club One Casino would exercise “good faith efforts” to negotiate a license agreement with the Fresno Grizzlies to allow parking for games at Chukchansi Park.
Club One Casino itself emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection about two years ago. San Diego County-based Brixton Capital AC LLC is believed to be a financing partner of Club One in this venture. The private real estate investment firm is listed as the developer for the Gottschalks building project in the proposed agreement.
Brixton has a portfolio of more than 800 properties with a $10 billion asset value, according to its website.
Messages left for Kyle Kirkland, president of Club One Casino, and Marc Brutten, chairman and founder of Brixton Capital, were not immediately returned.