Moe Bagunu photo via Fresno Chamber of Commerce
Written by Breanna Hardy
Longtime Fresno businessman Moe Bagunu died Monday at 57 years old, his wife Julie announced on Facebook.
The cause of death was not disclosed.
Bagunu was general manager of Manchester Center, and prior to that, Fashion Fair Mall. He had been in the process of re-inventing Manchester for the past few years.
He played an instrumental role in the City of Fresno’s efforts to revitalize Blackstone Avenue.
He also served on the board of the Fresno Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District Public Financing Authority starting May 15, 2020.
Bagunu is remembered for his community spirit, as he previously served as board chair of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce alongside previous CEO Nathan Ahle.
“I’m going to miss one of the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever met,” Ahle posted on social media, describing him as someone who was always in his corner.
“He gave so much to so many people and so many organizations in our community, and he leaves such a huge hole,” Ahle added.
Keith Bergthold, executive director of Fresno Metro Ministry, said, “Moe was a cherished advocate for Blackstone.”
Bagunu saw the vision for A Better Blackstone, and was an advocate for the launch of the Blackstone Property Based Improvement District. He was the guy who saw the value in it, Bergthold said.
“Besides a very talented shopping center director, he was just a great human being,” Bergthold said.
Bagunu authorized a $250,000 grant for an underground utilities study and master plan at Manchester. As the City of Fresno moves forward on revitalization efforts near the shopping center, it would really play to his legacy to finish out the projects that improve parts of Blackstone Avenue leading up to Manchester, Bergthold said.
“We really miss him already,” Bergthold said.