A prominent local developer has entered negotiations with Clovis city officials to build a residential-commercial project at the former downtown site of Clovis City Hall and the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Granville Homes, a major developer in the Fresno area, has been selected by the Clovis City Council to show the city plans for the site on Pollasky Avenue where it intersects with Fifth Street.
For two years, the city has been trying to attract developers for a project blending home, business and office uses.
Granville and the city are in negotiations to create an agreement for building a three-story project on the site.
The plan will include ground level businesses and up to 60 apartment or condominium units on the upper floors.
Jeffrey Roberts, a Granville vice president, said the company is "cautiously optimistic" about the negotiations.
"We are anxious to work with the city and I know the city is anxious to have an innovative, high-quality project down there," he said. "Hopefully, we can make this fit."
Roberts said he does not know how much the project might cost to build.
Many logistics have to be worked out, including parking, alley access, water and sewer line issues and the number of housing units.
"We may have to trade off some square footage in the building for parking," said Tina Sumner, the city's community and economic development director.
The project is similar to those Granville has partnered in developing in downtown Fresno, which are geared to the arts community. But the Clovis project will be designed to blend in with the architectural styles of Old Town Clovis, she said.
The city, which owns the land, had considered offers from other developers in building on the site. One developer offered $695,000 to buy the property but pulled out in 2007 when the housing slump started.
The site was home to Clovis City Hall until 1976. It was leased to the state Department of Motor Vehicles from 1978 to 2007, when the agency moved to a site near Shaw and Armstrong avenues.
The building was demolished last year and has been used as a parking lot.
Granville's proposal was considered the stronger of two proposals the Clovis City Council had to choose from.
A second plan from AMCAL, an "affordable" home developer based in Southern California, proposed 44 apartment units. The overall building space and commercial space was not as large as the Granville plan.
"I am optimistic because Granville has so much experience with making these projects work," Sumner said.