Mayor Lee Brand delivered his first State of the City speech since taking office. He delivered his address to a full house at the Fresno Convention Center New Exhibit Hall this afternoon (June 21).

Brand reviewed his accomplishments, including the establishment of police review board, his apartment inspection plan, and adding new facilities from retailers like Amazon and Ulta Beauty.

Brand’s speech was punctuated by the announcement of his top economic goal: molding a business climate that will attract 10,000 new jobs by 2027.

“I am proposing a ten-year plan to prosperity; a plan that will bring 10,000 new jobs to the city of Fresno by the year 2027. That’s the goal and I’ve set the bar very high,” Brand said.

His plan for accomplishing this goal is turning Fresno into the “e-commerce capital of the West Coast.”

Brand proposed the improvement of infrastructure in a 1,000-acre area in the industrial “reverse triangle” between Highway 99 and Highway 41 as the solution to Fresno’s economic woes.

Additionally, he stated that his economic development act, effective last year, has laid the groundwork for this growth by streamlining regulations for both new and existing businesses and creating technical education and training programs.

Despite most of these proposed jobs being, assumedly, lower-income positions, Brand predicted that, if successful in attaining them, this job growth will have a multiplier effect that will “double that number to 20,000” jobs created.

To prove that his plan “is not just a pipe dream,” he cited the recent recruitment of Ulta Beauty and Amazon distribution centers as proof that the project has hit the ground running. In attracting Amazon, Ulta and the future high-speed rail station, Brand claimed that the city will have “5,000 jobs right off the bat.”

“We are halfway to our goal,” he announced, met by applause from the audience.

Brand highlighted that one of the primary drivers behind this goal is the possibility of sustainably dropping the city’s unemployment rate into single digits.

He also explained that the additional 20,000 jobs will add $10 to $20 million to Fresno’s tax base, allowing it to increase services.

“This will forever change [Fresno’s] narrative to community-wide prosperity,” Brand concluded.

Watch his full speech below:

This story was updated to further detail Brand’s 10,000-job proposal.

What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below.

Drew Phelps contributed to this story.

Contact David Taub

Phone: 559-492-4037 / e-mail

This story was not subject to the approval of Granville Homes.

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