City Launches Opportunity Fresno and Website

The City of Fresno announced the launch of Opportunity Fresno, a branded “prospectus” for the city and county of Fresno that showcases the pipeline of investible business and development projects located in Opportunity Zones (OZ) in the City of Fresno and Fresno County.  The Prospectus was produced as a partnership between several agencies including the City of Fresno, the Fresno County EDC, the Fresno Housing Authority, the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, Access + Capital and the Wiebe Hinton Himbalek accounting firm.

The Opportunity Fresno website can be found at www.opportunityfresno.com and provides a data-driven summary of why the greater Fresno economy is an attractive target for private equity investment.  It provides a way to communicate to Qualified Opportunity Funds about the features and benefits of a particular community as well as to identify its challenges.

  • Fresno by the Zone
  • Anchor linkOpportunity Fresno Groups OZs into 5 ZonesFor convenience, this prospectus groups the census tracts into 5 zones, each with its own economic and social impact strategy linked to community need and long-range planning strategy.
    1. The Transform Fresno Hub (12 Census Tracts)
    2. The Transit-Oriented Development Corridor (20 Census Tracts)
    3. The Industrial Zone (5 Census Tracts) 
    4. West Fresno County (5 Census Tracts)
    5. East Fresno County (5 Census Tracts)To be nominated as an Opportunity Zone, a census tract must have a poverty rate of at least 20% or a median family income not exceeding 80% of the of the statewide median family income.
  • Anchor linkThe Opportunity Zone Map and Community PrioritiesThe City of Fresno’s overall economic development strategy aligns perfectly with its Opportunity Zone map; neighborhoods in these census tracts have already been zoned for job creation and housing construction projects that support community priorities:
    • revitalization of downtown Fresno through the opening of new retail, hospitality and entertainment businesses; this anticipates a boom in activity associated with the opening of the high-speed rail station in the Chinatown neighborhood. (The Transform Fresno Hub)
    • better access to open space and high-quality food options for current residents of the downtown and southwest neighborhoods (The Transform Fresno Hub)
    • reduction in urban sprawl through the creation of a target of 10,000 new affordable and market-rate multi-family rental units in the jobs-dense downtown and another 10,000  units along new transit-oriented corridors (The Transform Fresno HubThe TOD Corridor)
    • continued low unemployment through the creation of middle- and high-wage jobs in healthcarefulfillmentfood processing and back-office administration sectors (The Transform Fresno Hub,The Industrial Zone)
    • continued high growth in the manufacturing sector focused geographically around a new industrial space close to highways and rail lines (The Industrial Zone)
    • expanded footprints of anchor institutions including UCSF Fresno, Fresno City College, Fresno Pacific University and Fresno State including new workforce housing units and associated services (The Transform Fresno HubThe TOD Corridor)
    • increase in community wealth through capital investment in minority and women-owned businesses (all zones)The Opportunity Zone map is only one tool Fresno is using to continue to confront its challenges. The proposed 2020 California state budget also allocates about $90M in new spending for the Fresno area, including:
    • $15M to expand services from the UCSF School of Medicine’s Fresno Branch Campus in partnership with UC Merced
    • $33 million to create a “Fresno-Merced Food Innovation Corridor” 
    • $17 million for workforce development
    • https://dashboards.mysidewalk.com/opportunity-fresno/fresno-by-the-zone

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