Thousands gathered this weekend for a festival to mark the reopening of six blocks of Fulton Street that once made up the pedestrian-only Fulton Mall. The multi-million dollar reconstruction project was one of the most controversial in recent local memory, with critics on all sides. Some claim the new street won’t help revitalize the area, at the same time as others say it will cause gentrification, driving away existing businesses that cater to the largely Latino shoppers who never left downtown.
In our latest episode of Valley Edition we hear from nine different people from a variety of backgrounds on their hopes and fears about the project, all with an eye to the future. Our team speaks with vendors, art experts and even someone who lives on the Fulton Mall. To listen to those stories click play above.
Joyce Aiken - original Fulton Mall mosaic artist
Terence Frazier - Fresno housing developer, with plans for a new building on Fulton Street
Ashley Werner - with the social justice organization Leadership Counsel
Raul DeAlba - longtime Fulton Mall business owner
Desirae Washington - new business owner, with plans for another store on Fulton Street
Jesus Diaz - six years owning a business on Fulton
Michael Cruz - President of Tioga Sequoia Brewing
Jordan Gustafson - resident of the Pacific Southwest Building lofts
Sandra Celedon - Fresno native, Fulton Mall shopper, community activist