An empty lot near the Fresno Convention Center Exhibit Hall may finally become a hotel under a development agreement the council may amend this week. Image via Google Earth
Written by Edward Smith
The Fresno City Council will vote Thursday to amend an agreement for a new hotel in Downtown Fresno previously delayed by the pandemic.
Developers with Fresno-based Metro Hospitality Services, Inc., expect to break ground this month on a five-story Courtyard by Marriott property at Inyo and M streets in Downtown Fresno, according to Randy Singh, director of operations with Axis Hotel Group, the management company for Metro Hospitality.
The original plan — agreed upon in December 2017 — was for a 200-room hotel directly adjacent to the Saroyan Theater. The Fresno City Council will vote on slightly smaller project as well as a new construction timeline.
Singh said the original plan was “over-engineered.” After another analysis, the new 144-room concept was more cost efficient, he said.
The hotel will feature a swimming pool, fitness center, meeting rooms, business library, lounge and bistro, according to the development agreement filed with the City.
In addition to other amenities, the first floor will have a landscaped terrace for guests and will be open in the spring and fall — when weather in Fresno is cool, the agreement stated.
Parking would be available at a public garage a block away at Inyo and O streets.
Operators of Metro Hospitality purchased the land in 2018, Singh said. The price was $644,688. The cost for constructing the hotel would be $30 million, Singh said.
Tehal Thandi is listed as the president of Metro Hospitality Services, Inc.
The original agreement stipulated the project would be completed by November 2020.
City officials and Metro Hospitality had agreed on a list of conditions that would allow the project to be delayed without consequence. One of those was an epidemic. Singh said it was exactly that that delayed the project.
The new timeline being put forth to City Council would have the hotel completed by December 2024 and signed off on February 2025.
Metro Hospitality signed with Bakersfield-based Klassen Corporation as general contractor and architect.
Metro has built five other hotels in the Fresno-Clovis area, including Courtyard Fresno Clovis and Hampton Inn Fresno Airport.