Mayor Jerry Dyer speaks at Tuesday's announcement for the Southeast Fresno Regional Park and Soccer Complex. Photo by Ben Hensley
Written by Ben Hensley
A formal announcement of the Southeast Fresno Regional Park and Soccer Complex was made Tuesday by Fresno Councilmember Luis Chavez and Mayor Jerry Dyer, alongside Southeast Fresno Community Economic Development Association CEO Jose Leon-Barraza.
The field, located at 2155 S. Peach Ave. north of Church Avenue, was acquired by the City of Fresno in 2006 prior to the recession. Due to the recession, the original plans to develop the land into a public park or recreation facility did not come to fruition until last year, when $8.5 million was set aside from the American Rescue Fund by the mayor’s office to fund the project.
Once completed, the 49-acre regional park will include two lighted soccer fields, green space, a veteran’s memorial garden, community center and parking.
“That $8.5 million will go a long way, but it won’t take us far enough, because we know it’s going to take tens of millions of dollars to really turn this park into what we want it to be for Southeast [Fresno,]” Dyer said. “I’m going to tell you right now as I stand before you today as your mayor: I am committed to seeing this project completed; every single phase will be developed on this property.”
Chavez praised the work the City has done, along with the mayor, calling the project one of the most “grassroots” projects in the city. It has been in the works for several years, including a community march in 2018.
“Phase one includes $8.5 million for this site,” said Chavez. “That is a lot of money, but it’s money that’s been a long time coming, and it’s money that will be well invested here in our green space and park.”
A final community meeting will take place soon to plan the final phases of design for the development, Chavez said.
A $150,000 community center, including space for performing arts will also be located on site.
“One of our board members, Michael Angel, he’s the one that gave us a lot of good ideas about the possibilities of promoting music, art and culture at this site,” said Leon-Barraza.
In addition to the complex, Dyer also announced a construction project on Peach Avenue, committing $5.8 million from Measure C to widening the road to four lanes, including bicycle lanes, sidewalks, street lighting and an additional signal light at the crossroads of Peach and Hamilton avenues.
The road construction project is set to begin this August and be completed by the summer of 2023.
Funding for the road project will come from Measure C and development impact fees.
“It’s not the park that necessarily is what we’re excited about; it’s the people that will be in the park and our youth that will be in the park, because we have an opportunity to change and transform those youth for many, many years to come,” said Dyer.