The Fresno City Council voted unanimously Thursday to approve a 20-year lease with Outfront Media to erect five digital billboards on four different city-owned properties around town.
Outfront Media – formerly known as CBS Outdoor – will put up the digital billboards along Highway 180 at Al Radka Park, on city-owned right of way at the future Veterans Boulevard interchange along Highway 99 in northwest Fresno, on Highway 41 at Woodward Park and two locations at the city’s corporation yard at the junction of Highways 99 and 180 – one overlooking Highway 99, the other overlooking Highway 180.
Each location is along a heavily traveled Fresno freeway, offering high visibility. For those concerned about the billboards being inside the parks, City Manager Bruce Rudd said “that isn’t the case.”
“They’re on the periphery of these parks,” he said.
According to the agreement, the city will receive a one-time signing bonus of $325,000 from Outfront Media, as well as guaranteed annual rent payments of $378,000. That amount could be greater if the percentage of net revenue from the billboards exceeds $378,000.
As part of the agreement, Outfront Media will remove 47 nondigital billboards it owns around the city. Six of them are along Blackstone Avenue, and another eight are on Belmont Avenue.
The city began looking at the potential of billboards last year as a way to increase general fund revenue. Outfront Media was one of two companies that responded to the city’s request for bids to lease.
Rudd said there’s a possibility the contract could be expanded to other locations in the future.