published on September 8, 2016 - 9:51 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
The owner of Fresno’s Manchester Center has announced a groundbreaking ceremony to unveil plans to modernize the nearly 60-year-old mall.

“Fresno Manchester central location on the prominent Blackstone corridor will play an important part in the City’s revitalization plans,” according to the news release.

Omninet Capital said it will announce plans to “transform the center into a unique and engaging multi-use property,” according to a news release.

The groundbreaking is scheduled for Sept. 19 at 1 p.m. in the Manchester Center parking lot. Mayor Ashley Swearengin and Omninet’s Managing Partner Benjamin Nazarian are scheduled to attend.

Last year local media reported on plans for Omninet to renovate the mall, based on a YouTube video and brochures posted online, though Omninet has been mum on its plans to attract new retailers to its more the 1 million square feet of space.

According to the video, new plans include retail pads and a new entrance along Blackstone Avenue, pylon signage that utilizes targeted marketing campaigns, a children’s activity zone and an outdoor event plaza adjacent to the Regal Manchester Stadium 16 theatre, which draws 1.5 million visitors annually.

While mall management has been tight-lipped about its plans, tidbits have been released during public meetings as part of Omninet’s development process. General Manager Morel Bagunu said in May 2015 that a national company was interested in a first-floor space and would create 20 full-time and 40 part-time jobs. Another large anchor tenant would employ around 200 jobs.

National tenants Chipotle and Habit Burger have also signed leases to locate at Manchester, according to leasing reports from a local real estate brokerage.

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