A group turns dirt Wednesday at the Jensen Landing development in Southeast Fresno. Photo by Edward Smith
Written by Edward Smith
A new mixed-use development promises to be the first of its kind for Southeast Fresno. And though the process took nearly three years, the developers and city officials feel confident it checks multiple boxes of what the community needs.
Partners with San Jose-based BDM Builders as well as Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer and Fresno City Councilmember Luis Chavez broke ground Wednesday on Jensen Landing, a mixed-use development at the northeast corner of Jensen and Maple avenues.
Where the 12-acre vacant lot stands, builders plan to build a 151-unit, market rate apartment complex along with a bank, day care center, restaurants, medical offices, gas station and a Starbucks.
“Looking at the amenities that are included in the design, this really will be a first-of-its-kind mixed-use development in Southeast Fresno,” Dyer said.
For being a project City officials wanted, the process to approval took more than three years.
It started in 2019 after developers chose the site, said Harry Dhillon, partner with BDM Builders. Dhillon expects to be completed within the next three years.
The lot was zoned commercial originally, and in order to rezone it to accommodate the multiple uses, Chavez said he required developers to meet with community members from Calwa.
Their first meeting was at Calwa Elementary, across the street from the site.
Chavez said in those meetings, they determined where the housing should go on the parcel, as well as what kind of businesses the community wanted.
Developers went through about 150 meetings — both private and public — to get Jensen Landing to this point, according to project consultant Nick Yovino, partner with California Land Consultants.
“This was a very complicated project,” Yovino said. “It required everything — plan amendment, rezone, site plan and conditional use permit, parcel map, whole CEQA reviews, traffic studies, meetings with the neighborhood, planning commission, airport land use commission.”
Building market rate housing also helps bring tenants to the area, Dhillon said.
“For us, the key thing was to attract the ecosystem, to attract all those tenants whether it’s the ARCOs, the Starbucks, the Burger Kings of the world,” he added.
Chavez said what they wanted was a “20-minute neighborhood” where people can get what they need all in one place.
“We’re raising the bar of what these types of developments should look like,” said Dyer.