Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Fresno Dutch Bros, Other Businesses Will Have to Make Way for Railroad Project
gvw_edward_smith
By Edward Smith
Published 1 month ago on
June 13, 2024

The Fresno City Council decided Thursday to buy several properties at Blackstone and McKinley avenues, including a Dutch Bros and one of Fresno's oldest auto shops, to pave the way for the grade-separation project there. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Fresno City Council decided Thursday to buy several properties at Blackstone and McKinley avenues, including a Dutch Bros and one of Fresno’s oldest auto shops, to make way for two underpasses.

To cross beneath the railroad tracks at that intersection, the city needs to use its eminent domain powers to acquire property. Negotiations to purchase those properties are ongoing, city staff say.

An attorney for Greenway Auto Body at McKinley and Home avenues says that relocating is challenging because city officials changed what businesses they want on Blackstone Avenue in 2014.

“Trying to find comparable property and being able to relocate the property to another site is difficult, especially along the Blackstone corridor and near (Highway) 41 because of the rezoning that’s occurred in that area,” said Brady McGuinness, attorney for Joe Alanis, the owner of Greenway.

A rendering of the $70 million to $80 million Blackstone-McKinley grade separation project that is pegged for completion in 2027. (City of Fresno)

City Plans for Railroad Affect All Four Street Corners

The city has wanted to build underpasses beneath railroads for more than a decade. The train creates long delays for drivers and there have been four fatalities in the last 10 years because of the tracks.

Providing unabridged access beneath the two railroad crossings requires retaining walls on all four corners, according to Fresno city staff.

One of the retaining walls would interfere with Dutch Bros’ drive-thru, requiring the business to close, staff said during the presentation.

Dutch Bros’ Fresno franchisee was not available for comment for what will happen to the location near Fresno City College.

The $70 million to $80 million project will displace 27 businesses on 19 parcels and four residential homes, according to city staff in a previous interview. Staff expect acquisitions to continue for the rest of the year.

The city anticipates the project to wrap up by 2027.

2014 Vision for Blackstone an Obstacle to the Avenue’s Auto Shops

McGuinness said Alanis was not objecting to the project but finding a location for his business that started in 1962 — according to the Better Business Bureau — is difficult.

“There’s some unique issues that are involved with the relocation and sale of this property,” McGuinness said during the meeting.

In 2014, the city, under then-Mayor Ashley Swearengin, changed its vision for Blackstone Avenue. The General Plan called for businesses to be brought closer to the street, as opposed to being separated with parking lots. The design for Blackstone Avenue favored mixed-use businesses with retail on the ground floor and housing on top.

Since the change, Greenway Auto Body, like many other businesses, have been considered “legally noncompliant.”

AJ Rassamni, president of the Blackstone Merchants Association, said in a previous interview more than a dozen smog and auto shops have closed because of the changes.

He suggested at the time suspending the zoning changes to more easily allow businesses historically located on Blackstone Avenue to find property where patrons are more accustomed to visiting.

Councilmembers approved the actions with very little comment.

“I don’t think the council takes these items lightly,” said Fresno City Councilman Miguel Arias. “If the public doesn’t see any questions (it’s) because this project has been in the process for more than a decade and we have full confidence that staff has gone through every single procedural step.”

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

49ers GM: We Have No Intention of Dealing Brandon Aiyuk

DON'T MISS

Reality Show Contestant Apologizes After Eating Protected Bird

DON'T MISS

Wildfires Send About 25,000 Fleeing From Canadian Rockies’ Largest National Park and Nearby Town

DON'T MISS

Surprise Blast of Rock, Water and Steam Sends Dozens Running for Safety in Yellowstone

DON'T MISS

Review: Candlelight Delivers an Enchanting Performance

DON'T MISS

Fresno State’s All-Time Sacks Leader Will Be Inducted Into Football Ring of Honor

DON'T MISS

Watch Out, Fresno. That ‘Summer Cold’ Might Be COVID.

DON'T MISS

Tesla’s Profit Fell 45% in Second Quarter on Weak EV Sales

DON'T MISS

Israeli Authorities Announce Largest Land Seizure in 30 Years

DON'T MISS

Trump Announces He Will Meet with Netanyahu on Friday at Mar-a-Lago

UP NEXT

Reality Show Contestant Apologizes After Eating Protected Bird

UP NEXT

Wildfires Send About 25,000 Fleeing From Canadian Rockies’ Largest National Park and Nearby Town

UP NEXT

Surprise Blast of Rock, Water and Steam Sends Dozens Running for Safety in Yellowstone

UP NEXT

Review: Candlelight Delivers an Enchanting Performance

UP NEXT

Fresno State’s All-Time Sacks Leader Will Be Inducted Into Football Ring of Honor

UP NEXT

Watch Out, Fresno. That ‘Summer Cold’ Might Be COVID.

UP NEXT

Tesla’s Profit Fell 45% in Second Quarter on Weak EV Sales

UP NEXT

Israeli Authorities Announce Largest Land Seizure in 30 Years

UP NEXT

Trump Announces He Will Meet with Netanyahu on Friday at Mar-a-Lago

UP NEXT

Fresno Wants to Expand Radio Park. Will It Force a Convenience Store to Sell?

Edward Smith,
Multimedia Journalist
Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

Surprise Blast of Rock, Water and Steam Sends Dozens Running for Safety in Yellowstone

7 hours ago

Review: Candlelight Delivers an Enchanting Performance

7 hours ago

Fresno State’s All-Time Sacks Leader Will Be Inducted Into Football Ring of Honor

8 hours ago

Watch Out, Fresno. That ‘Summer Cold’ Might Be COVID.

9 hours ago

Tesla’s Profit Fell 45% in Second Quarter on Weak EV Sales

9 hours ago

Israeli Authorities Announce Largest Land Seizure in 30 Years

9 hours ago

Trump Announces He Will Meet with Netanyahu on Friday at Mar-a-Lago

9 hours ago

Fresno Wants to Expand Radio Park. Will It Force a Convenience Store to Sell?

9 hours ago

Clip Resurfaces of Vance Criticizing Harris for Being ‘Childless,’ Testing Trump’s New Running Mate

9 hours ago

Is California Ready for Its Close-Up? Trump Will Demonize the State and Harris

9 hours ago

49ers GM: We Have No Intention of Dealing Brandon Aiyuk

SANTA CLARA — The San Francisco 49ers have no intention of granting star receiver Brandon Aiyuk his trade request and remain committed to ge...

6 hours ago

6 hours ago

49ers GM: We Have No Intention of Dealing Brandon Aiyuk

6 hours ago

Reality Show Contestant Apologizes After Eating Protected Bird

7 hours ago

Wildfires Send About 25,000 Fleeing From Canadian Rockies’ Largest National Park and Nearby Town

7 hours ago

Surprise Blast of Rock, Water and Steam Sends Dozens Running for Safety in Yellowstone

7 hours ago

Review: Candlelight Delivers an Enchanting Performance

8 hours ago

Fresno State’s All-Time Sacks Leader Will Be Inducted Into Football Ring of Honor

Photo of an antibody blood tube
9 hours ago

Watch Out, Fresno. That ‘Summer Cold’ Might Be COVID.

9 hours ago

Tesla’s Profit Fell 45% in Second Quarter on Weak EV Sales

Search

Send this to a friend