Fulton Mall | Case Study
Fresno | California
Fresno’s Fulton Mall was among the earliest downtown pedestrian malls in the United States. The six-block stretch was built in 1964 to revitalize its downtown business district. After some success, demographic and population shifts resulted in usage only during business hours resulting in vacancies, diminished city revenue and a hit to community spirit. A reset was needed. In 2011, the city embarked upon major public realm improvements in its downtown. The goals were to create an attractive destination; “the kind of place residents, businesses, employees, and visitors can identify as the commercial, cultural, and entertainment core of their region.” Fulton Mall was a critical piece of this plan. In October 2017, Fresno celebrated Fulton Street’s grand reopening. The mall is now open to cars, with 19 pieces of art, restored sculpture, fountains and even a 60-foot clock tower. To prepare for this moment, in 2014, we provided RHAA Landscape Architects, which was working with the city on the project, with an operations and maintenance plan for Fulton Mall to help ensure that project goals were met to create a safe, well-maintained mall so critical to its long-term revitalization.
- Create a collaborative structure and plans to maintain the mall among various city and nonprofit agencies.
- Determine roles, policies and communications procedures between the city Parks and Recreation Department, Public Works Department and Downtown Fresno Partnership to quickly address issues as they arise.
- Provide predictive operating revenue and expense projections for the mall to assist in budget planning.
- Development of comprehensive operations and management plan for RHAA and Downtown Fresno Partnership detailing day-to-day policies and procedures for Fulton Mall. This plan included management roles maintenance of landscaping, water features and cultural arts, security, sidewalk cleanliness, event coordination, and programming.
- Creation of a user-friendly manual for conducting events to protect the integrity of Fulton Mall, including policies for planning, rental, permits, logistics, costs to hire personnel and guidelines for event engineers, janitorial, security and landscaping.
- Creating preliminary operating revenue and expense projection for the mall, using conservative and optimistic scenarios, to assist the city with budgeting.
- Plans provided to the city are being implemented.
- In October 2017, thousands in Fresno celebrated Fulton Street’s grand reopening, with its mayor proclaiming that, “Fulton Street is back in business.