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Club One Casino in talks to buy spiral garage, part of former Gottschalks building

The Fresno City Council on Thursday will vote on a deal to sell the city’s iconic downtown spiral garage to Club One Casino.

The deal, which also includes the city-owned portion of the former Gottschalks building, is for $1.7 million.

“Parking is a valuable revitalization tool that the city can use to help spur development,” Mayor Lee Brand said. “This garage in particular has historically low utilization and revenue so selling it actually saves the city money, improves our overall parking program and helps to create an exciting new anchor to Fulton Street.”

FRESNO, CA 1/25/2011 Spiral garage on Van Ness. CRAIG KOHLRUSS/THE FRESNO BEE CRAIG KOHLRUSS Fresno Bee Staff Photo

Club One approached the city with an offer and proposed relocation and expansion, according to city staff reports.

Others were interested in the property and made unsolicited offers, but those offers didn’t meet the appraised value of the property, said Mark Standriff, a city spokesman.

Club One has been in its current location at Van Ness Avenue and Tulare Street since 2010. The casino will remain in its current spot until renovations at the potential new location are complete, Brand said.

The former Gottschalks building has been vacant since 1988. The 587-space garage operates at a negative balance and has about $3 million in deferred maintenance.

The deal also requires Club One to enter into a parking agreement with the Fresno Grizzlies.

If the council approves the sale, it will be the second parking facility the city has sold in about two month’s time.

In October, the city sold the H Street parking lot to the Fresno Grizzlies. Brand said the city isn’t interested in selling other parking lots or garages.

Developers Terance Frazier and Mehmet Noyan previously planned for a highly anticipated public market in the city-owned portion of the Gottschalks building. But, they quashed the plans, saying they didn’t make economic sense.