From left, the Downtown Fresno Partnership's Director Jimmy Cerrachio, Channelle Charest and Dan Zack with the City of Fresno host a press conference Thursday afternoon. Photo by Donald A. Promnitz
Written by Donald A. Promnitz
The City of Fresno Planning Department has officially launched a new “parklet” pilot program officials hope will help in the effort to revitalize downtown.
The first of the parklets, located at Bitwise Industries, was installed Thursday at an approximate cost to Bitwise of $4,000. The Bitwise parklet includes a set of tables and chairs on a boarded platform installed in two parking spaces.
“What’s really is exciting is that there are now inviting spaces not just inside of our building, but actually outside of our building,” said Channelle Charest, Bitwise executive director of growth. “And it really encourages people to sit, talk and meet together, which we believe creates community and exciting things.”
The pilot program includes plans for 10 of these parklets. With grant assistance from Downtown Fresno Partnership, Fulton Street Coffee Roasters and The Modernist will also install parklets, said Mark Standriff, Fresno’s director of communications and public affairs.
That leaves seven available slots in the pilot program. The program is available to businesses downtown south of Divisadero Street with the exception of Fulton Street between Tuolumne and Inyo streets, where the city has extended sidewalk space for patios as part of the Fulton Street restoration.
The merchant is responsible for keeping the parklet clean and well maintained.
The estimated cost for such parklets may run from $2,500 to $5,000, Standriff added. Parklets in parallel parking areas may take up to two spaces, while taking up to three spaces in diagonal parking areas.
The program will run for a year, through Dec. 31, 2020, to test the concept. Approved parklets may remain for two years, and possibly for longer terms if the program is extended.
The application process to establish a parklet can take up to 60 days, with the city’s planning department providing permitting as well as some consultation on design.