A mixed-use project proposed for Downtown Fresno would include a viewing platform inside a parking garage to see the iconic Fresno Stamp mural completed in 2014. Images via Tutelian & Co.
Written by Edward Smith
A proposed five-story development would bring housing and retail to a Downtown Fresno corner made popular by the Fresno Stamp mural.
The project at Van Ness Avenue and Tuolumne Street proposed by development firm Tutelian & Co. would transform a parking lot into 30,000 square feet of retail space with 160 multi-family residential units distributed in three separate buildings. The project would relocate a CVS Pharmacy to the northeast corner of the project area with four stories of apartment complexes located above.
A City of Fresno staff report prepared for the city council offers a first public look at renderings and a site plan the project proposed by Cliff Tutelian, president of Tutelian & Co. The company will offer a status update on the project before the council Thursday.
Tutelian declined to comment ahead of the status report.
Next to the new CVS building would be 10,650 square feet of retail market space with four stories of apartments above that. Behind those buildings would be a five-story parking garage with retail shops proposed along Fulton Street. At the site of the former CVS would be a five-story apartment building with work units. The report also states a willingness by the developer to include affordable housing in the project.
One point of contention has been the future of the Fresno Stamp mural, which is painted on the building that houses The Business Journal offices. Councilmember Miguel Arias raised concerns in March about obscuring visibility of one of the more popular murals in the downtown area. The developer was given until December to satisfy those concerns by the Fresno City Council. In response, the architectural plans include a viewing platform for the mural inside the parking garage.
According to a site plan, an alleyway possibly 14-feet-wide would separate the parking garage and two story mural.
The mural, 125 feet wide and 32 feet high, was completed in 2014 by FranCisco Vargas and includes prominent figures, landmarks and institutions hailing from the Central Valley.
Vargas, a prolific muralist, died in 2015.
The mural has been featured in numerous advertising campaigns, countless Facebook posts from both visitors to the city as well as residents and even a couple of music videos.
The staff report states that CVS’ real estate team has requested further clarification on the project, but an initial agreement on building layout was made. The document states a meeting between representatives of Tutelian & Co. and CVS will be held in October.