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Housing Coming to Manchester Center



The Manchester Center mall will convert its second-floor spaces into nearly 600 units of housing, Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer said. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)
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The second floor of the Manchester Center mall in central Fresno will become 592 units of housing.

Mayor Jerry Dyer confirmed the widely-rumored plans at a speech Monday opening up a senior center.

“What you may not know is Manchester Center, that is generally been a commercial development/retail, that the plans are in. We’re getting those approved now for the development of 592 housing units on that property,” Dyer said. “So it will be an adaptive reuse of the of the businesses that are currently there. Ground floor will continue to be retail, but second floor as well as some other buildings will be housing. So a lot of good things happen on Blackstone Avenue and that’s just a start.”

For years, the second floor at Manchester Center has been bereft of retail space. It has been used mainly for classrooms and other office space.

Neither City Hall nor the Manchester Center would provide any details of the project, such as when it may start, who is developing the project, or how much it may cost.

The second floor at Manchester Center will be converted to housing under a new plan. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)

The Blackstone Plan

Dyer was on hand at The Link @ Blackstone, at the southwest corner of Blackstone and McKinley avenues, to open a new community center, that will be used for senior programs. He discussed the importance of redeveloping Blackstone.

“Blackstone is the spine of Fresno. It is an area that people travel on a daily basis and it has been historically for the retail, for the commercial. But the future of Blackstone is much more than that. It is about housing,” Dyer said.

He envisions thousands living and shopping along Blackstone Avenue, and using Bus Rapid Transit to get around.

It is generating excitement from the city councilman for the area, Nelson Esparza.

“Manchester is a critical anchor property along the Blackstone Corridor. From the very beginning of the discussions, I have been in full support of the New Manchester Center’s vision to transform its existing retail space into mixed use space. This project alone will provide our community with more than 400,000 square feet of housing surrounded by ample green and living space not seen anywhere else in our city.”

Several housing projects along the Blackstone corridor are in the works. The developers of The Link @ Blackstone also have the Clinton Avenue Apartments project at Blackstone and Clinton; the Fresno Housing Authority is developing 41 units “The Arthur” at Blackstone and Shields avenues.

New Senior Center

Monday, Dyer cut the ribbon at a new community center, to be used mainly by seniors six days a week. The room featured bright windows, comfortable couches, and several computers.

Seniors will engage in activities for both physical and mental health.

“I really appreciate the community looking after the seniors like they do,” said resident Felicia Mack. “It’s very important for the seniors to have somewhere to go where they can relate to each other, come out to have a nice time instead of being locked up in the house all the time.”

Mayor Jerry Dyer (left) chats with The Link @ Blackstone resident Felicia Mack. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email