CH-WFBack in June, I wrote about Downtown Fresno Foundation’s Create Here Business Plan Competition. The goal of the competition was to build new business in Fresno’s urban core by offering potential business-owners a sort of start-up how to (and a prize package that included stuff like a year’s free rent).

The idea excited me enough to come up with a wish list of what I would like to see in the area. It included a bookstore, art-house movie theater, pizza parlor, gym and craft brewery.

Last week, the foundation announced the semi-finalists for the competition.

There is no bookstore or movie theater, but there is a gym (Fitness 365, “a mid to upper-scale 24-hour urban fitness gym that provides quality commercial weight and cardiovascular equipment on a 24-hour, 365 days a year”) and a craft brewery (House of Pendragon).

There is also Sample Sneaker Boutique (a place to buy/sell/trade collectible sneakers, because that is a thing) and Root, which imagines itself as “a Downtown Fresno general Store,” Root will stock clothing, home goods, skincare and fragrance, books and “other small treasures made by local artisans and other small US based companies.”

That sounds a bit like Misc. Trading Co., which is the kind of retail store we need more of.

The other semi-finalists include a trio of cafes (including Raw Fresno and a second location for Visalia’s Char), a pair of fashion and accessory retailers and a custom home furnishing store.

All in all, this is better than what I imagined. Any one of these would be welcomed downtown.

What is your take? What do you think about these businesses and their potential for help shape (or reshaped) downtown’s retail environment?

Josh Tehee

Josh Tehee

Joshua Tehee is an entertainment guy. Music runs in his veins. Like seriously, you cut him open and there's no blood-- just music. It's weird.
Josh Tehee

One thought on “Create Here Business Plan Competition announces semi-finalists

  • September 10, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I work in downtown Fresno and I’m so excited to hear about new businesses that might be opening here. Most of the surrounding cities have had their own downtown-revival and I hope this is the start of ours. The workers would greatly appreciate it :)

    P.S. Go Char!! (best food/coffee shop in downtown Visalia–I hope they win!)


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