Real estate roundup: University Medical Center returns to auction

Image of University Medical Center via Google Earth

published on September 22, 2022 – 11:18
Written by Edward Smith

If you’re looking for a long-vacant medical building, Fresno County will put the University Medical Center in competition.

The county has begun the process of unloading the property under the Surplus Land Act, according to Sonja Dosti, public information officer at the county administrative office. The county is reviewing its operational needs for two of its offices remaining on campus.

The City of Fresno had a proposal in April 2021 to purchase the building with the intention of turning it into housing. But a conflict of interest conviction of Supervisor Sal Quintero’s former chief of staff, Steve Rapada, with the Fresno-based construction management group muddied the deal.

The building will likely still become a dwelling if sold, said Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau, who added that most proposals for the building were for multi-family housing. Supervisors still need to approve a declaration of surplus.

The former state office will become a dwelling

3374 E. Shields Ave.
The former National Water Resources Board of Control building in Fresno will be available for housing. Google Street View image

The State of California is looking for developers to turn a former state building into affordable housing.

A Request for Qualifications was issued Monday for work on five properties statewide, including one for the former State Water Resources Control Board building at 3374 E. Shields Ave. near First Street in Fresno.

Under the Department of General Services, the properties were declared surplus with the intention of using them for affordable housing.

State officials hope to see the building converted to 200 to 250 units, with a focus on two- and three-bedroom units.

The surrounding properties are zoned commercial office. State suggests rezoning to Corridor/Center Mixed Use.

The current building measures 38,600 square feet on one floor along Shields Avenue, bordered to the south by the Herndon Canal. The building would likely have to be demolished, the RFQ said.

Other locations included properties in Sacramento, Covina, Atascadero and Oceanside.

The studios will be the new accommodations at Campus Pointe

Victor E. Bulldog IV
Victor E. Bulldog IV was on hand for Revolutionary Wednesday. Photo by Edward Smith

Lance Kashian & Co., Fresno State as well as city and county officials broke ground on the fourth housing project in the mall near the university on Wednesday.

The project – called 3150 Studio Apartments @ Campus Pointe – will include 57 studio apartments over three floors.

The development will have a lobby, study area and balconies close to Campus Pointe’s bars and restaurants.

Lance Kashian & Co. co-chairman Sal Gonzales said the project would take about 14 months.

Oak Valley Community Bank provided the construction loan. Tom Walker, director of Fresno-based Capitalize, the lending company that worked with Oak Valley, said the bank was able to provide a construction and permanent loan at a fixed rate, which is becoming increasingly rarer as interest rates rise.

Fresno State owns the Campus Pointe property, with a land lease to Lance Kashian Co. Fresno State officials had to approve the project.

Debbie Astone, Fresno State’s chief financial officer, said housing is a top concern for students.

“We know our students struggle to find on-campus housing,” Astone said. “It’s a great product where it can be affordable, practical and something different.”

Apartments at 3150 are at market price, as are those at Maravillosa at Campus Pointe.

Astone said that even though they are market priced, many seniors and graduate students will be charged for them.

“We know that in some cases students, especially upper class and graduate students, may want a one bedroom or one bedroom unit and sometimes they are the first to go,” said said Astone.

Will the canceled downtown project mean changes for Fresno developers?

van ness and stanislaus
Lance Kashian & Co. is moving forward with a housing project at the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Stanislaus Street. Google Street View image

Fresno Councilman Miguel Arias wants the Group of Seven to change the way it approves big projects.

Arias wants to see the Fresno City Council require developers to have all their necessary permits before appearing before the council.

The change would come as council members could not get the votes needed to approve an extension to the first new building on downtown Fulton Street in decades.

Council members Garry Bredefeld and Mike Karbassi voted against the South Stadium project – later called The Park – which would have brought nearly a hundred housing units to downtown Fresno. Developers had to revise the plan after the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District scuttled the original plans, delaying the start of the project past a key deadline.

Now, Arias says board members expect projects to be ready to go before they hit the stage.

Coming this year for another expansion, a long-proposed housing project in downtown Fresno by Lance Kashian & Co. at the northeast corner of Van Ness Avenue and Stanislaus Street.

Gonzales along with Lance Kashian said they are still moving forward with the project.

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