Fresno Mayor Lee Brand rides in a procession along the newly reopened Fulton Street in October 2017. Photo by Donald A. Promnitz
Written by Frank Lopez
As the ever-developing Fulton Street nears the second anniversary of its reopening to traffic after 53 years of being a pedestrian mall, the city has released measures that show substantial business growth along the revamped Downtown Fresno business corridor.
For fiscal 2019, gross revenue measurement for Fulton Street was $43.62 million — a 1,526% increase over the same measurements for FY2015, the last fiscal year before construction began.
Just after the first year of reopening in 2017, gross revenue for businesses along Fulton Street saw an increase of 1,070% over fiscal 2015 with revenues in fiscal 2018 of $30.57 million.
“During the celebration for the reopening of Fresno Street, I said it was a bold new beginning for the heart of our downtown and the numbers are proving that in a remarkable way,” said Mayor Lee Brand. “I’m pleased that our investment in Fulton Street is showing strong financial returns and we’re doing everything we can to encourage growth and provide stability. This is exciting news.”
Measurements also show that Fulton Street is seeing an increase in pedestrian and bike traffic over the past five years. Before the start of the reconstruction, they city’s count was 2,613.7 bicyclists/pedestrians per day, with a jump in 2019 to 3,504.7 per day — a 34% increase in bicycle and pedestrian volume.
“This is exactly what we envisioned when we first started talking about opening up Fulton Street to traffic,” said Fresno City Manager Wilma Quan. “As someone who has lived and breathed this project since its inception, I’m thrilled to see that there’s proof positive that we’re bringing back businesses and people to the heart of our downtown.”
To celebrate the reopening of Fulton Street, the Fulton Street Party returns on Saturday for its second year with this year’s entertainment headline being the dance event Cumbiatron, which will happen at the Mariposa Mall at Mariposa and Fulton streets from 9 to 11 p.m.
There will also be restaurant pop-ups, as well as Tioga Sequoia Brewing Co. and Fresno Street Eats hosting the Fulton St. Food Truck Fest — the largest gathering of food trucks ever in the Central Valley.
The event will go from noon to 11 p.m.