Developer’s Infill Bet Sparks Renaissance in Old ‘Mid State Bowl’ Neighborhood
A supermarket is buzzing. Lines continue at a Starbucks drive-thru. And, the sound of hammers can be heard as construction continues at the Mid-State Plaza.
The relatively new shopping development at Clinton Avenue, just east of Highway 99, sits at where the classic Mid-State Bowl used to be located. The old bowling alley may be long gone, but developer Mehmet Noyan and his partners took a chance on fulfilling an unmet need.
“I’m a shopping center guy,” said Noyan, managing partner of Noyan Frazier Development. “I’m an infill guy. I like to find a property like this that’s surrounded by existing demographics, not betting on the growth or the future.”
While others may have passed because of its proximity to railroad tracks and in an underserved part of the city, Noyan jumped.
“I’m an infill guy. I like to find a property like this that’s surrounded by existing demographics, not betting on the growth or the future.” — Mehmet Noyan, developer
“Some might view that or perceived that is maybe not a desirable area. I look at it as an opportunity because it was near the freeway and there were not a lot of goods and services in this area,” Noyan said.
The shopping center is anchored by a Vallarta supermarket, in place since 2016. Two new buildings — at a total of 10,000 square feet — are under construction and will allow more tenants to join a WSS shoe store, Starbucks and Panda Express at the location.
Noyan estimates his company has invested $10 million in the project.
Noyan would not reveal who might move in, but says it will be used for restaurants and office space. There will be plenty of space of outdoor dining, an idea Noyan thought of before the COVID pandemic.
Noyan Bullish on West Fresno
Noyan noticed improvements in the neighborhood once the Mid State Plaza opened. Gas stations across the street, once independently branded, linked up with more familiar national names.
“They’ve cleaned up the stores. The apartments that are adjacent to us have cleaned up. So there’s been a private redevelopment as a result of this project,” Noyan said.
Johnny Noyan, the company vice president and manager of the property, expects other developers to follow.
“We’re developing expensive buildings in the area. What that’s telling people is the market can support these types of rents, these types of buildings. You can come out into these infill areas, do a brand new development, and you are going to be able to bring in those tenants that you’re going after,” he said.
The next area of town primed for growth is southwest Fresno, the Noyans said, thanks to Fresno City College’s satellite campus now under construction.