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Fresno approves sale of spiral garage, former Gottschalks building to Club One Casino

Spiral garage at Van Ness Avenue and Inyo Street
Spiral garage at Van Ness Avenue and Inyo Street

The Fresno City Council on Thursday voted to sell the city’s spiral parking garage and city-owned portion of the former Gottschalks building to Club One Casino, which plans to renovate both facilities and relocate there.

The sale was approved for $1.7 million, even though both the garage and building have millions in deferred maintenance. Club One Casino will also execute an agreement with the Fresno Grizzlies for use of the parking garage.

“We’ve had our eye on the spiral garage for quite some time,” said Kyle Kirkland, Club One owner and president. “Unfortunately, over the last couple of years we’ve outgrown our current space.”

The sale was approved unanimously by the council, but incoming District 3 Councilman-elect Miguel Arias said he didn’t believe that’s the way city development should be done.

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 the city didn’t go through the bidding process. The city’s Asset Management Act allows the city to make real estate deals without soliciting proposals.

“It’s not in the best interest of downtown development to do business this way, in the backrooms of card rooms,” Arias said.

Kirkland said Club One is committed to being a good neighbor and understands how construction can disrupt business since the casino endured the Fulton Street project.

The casino will have more room in the new space for entertainment options, such as a larger banquet room, more dining options and possibly even a night club. Kirkland estimates renovations to the building and parking garage will take about two years.

“We’re looking at this as an opportunity for dramatic face lift,” he said.