The Boulevard is a catalytic TOD town center master plan for a 14 acre site at the geographic center of Fresno, California. Working with locally based architect-of-record The Vernal Group, YBA has contributed urban design, architectural and programming concepts and supported a sustained engagement effort with the city council, planning and engineering departments and other stakeholders to facilitate the first significant vertical mixed-use development outside of downtown Fresno in nearly a century. Leveraging our experience designing and programming catalytic town center projects elsewhere, the project requires a balancing of practical phasing and incremental progress toward new building typologies and rental market products that require significant gap funding to pioneer in this market. YBA lends experience leading the design of complex public-private partnership based projects with intricate capital stacks, and ability communicating effectively with the various stakeholders and agencies involved in watershed projects like this one.
YBA views this project, which is one of three significant urban design and master planning projects comprising 27 acres in total that we’re undertaking with the same development group in this vicinity, as a prototype for delivering genuine, people- and community-centered urban design and vertical development to the many communities in California’s Central Valley and indeed in the Western United States that resemble Fresno—sprawling ‘first wave’ 20th century boulevard-and-subdivision based cities that increasingly face severe fiscal challenges while attempting to sustain extensive utilities and infrastructure maintenance and operational costs amid low land utilization levels and stagnant real estate sectors. We are excited to be spearheading solutions for cities like Fresno and for developers who perceive the incredible upside and opportunity in these communities.