A small piece of developer Terance Frazier’s dream to turn a block of downtown Fresno into a housing and entertainment district is getting ready to open. But it may be awhile before the major transformation happens.
After plans for a brewery at 721 Broadway St. fell through, Frazier, whose partner told him to sell the building, decided to turn the 10,000-square-foot space into the Broadway Event Center for private parties, corporate and special events.
“There are very few urban event centers in downtown” that give the true urban feel of exposed brick walls, concrete floors and garage-style doors opening into a back alley, said Frazier, owner of TFS Investments.
“I love this building,” he said with a big smile. “There’s no way I’m going to sell it.”
Frazier painted the facade of the building, which was previously home to Pool Tables R Us. Inside, he installed decorative lights, put art work and wood shelves on the walls and had two custom wood bars made by Santiago’s Custom Made Furniture for the two rooms.
The front room has big windows letting in natural light and is a little fancier than the room in the rear, which Frazier describes as a speakeasy because of its underground, hidden feel.
Imagine the possibilities, Frazier said while pulling a garage door open to show the alley that separates the event center from a row of warehouses that he owns on H Street between Inyo and Mono, south of Chukchansi Park. People attending events at the center will be able to pull around to the back of the building and use valet service to park their cars, he said, then walk into the building for live performances.
The rear of the event center faces a section of the H Street warehouses where Frazier plans to open a bowling alley. Both buildings would have back patios that face each other.
“People say, ‘oh my God, this is trash,’ ” Frazier said about the old buildings. “I’m like, ‘oh my God, this is beautiful.’ ”
The event center will host its first party on Dec. 15. It has two more events booked this month.
“This will be my best chance to figure out what people want,” Frazier said. “It’s going to teach me what I need to do on the block.”
Frazier wants to create a superblock of apartments, restaurants, brew pubs and entertainment in the area. He is also partnering with developer Mehmet Noyan to build 51 apartments on top of 10,000 square feet of retail and commercial space on the south end of Fulton Street. Construction on the South Stadium project was slated to begin after the completion of Fulton Street.
But Frazier said the projects are on hold because they did not receive state Transformative Climate Communities grants to help cover the cost of road and utility improvements. He’s calling on the city to help.
“I’m fully invested by buying the block and trying to buy more,” Frazier said. “H Street is on hold until the city can say what it can do.”