Costa: Downtown Fresno Open for Business

FRESNO, CA – As a long time advocate for downtown Fresno, Rep. Jim Costa cheered the U.S. Department of Transportation’s decision to invest $16 million in the Fulton Mall project that will improve economic opportunities and create jobs in the heart of Fresno. Joining U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in Fresno for the official announcement, Costa called the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant a “game changer” for downtown.

“Investing in Fulton Mall sends a clear signal that Downtown Fresno is open for business,” said Costa. “I’d like to thank Secretary Foxx for believing in Downtown Fresno. This is the game changer that puts us on track to start construction and move forward with revitalizing the heart of Fresno. Many people have worked for years to see that this becomes a reality, and this award is validation that we are on the right track for downtown.”

As a resident of downtown Fresno, Congressman Costa has long been at the helm of revitalization efforts. 30 years ago when he first ran for office, Costa promised to live in downtown and keep his office in the heart of Fresno. 30 years later, he continues to keep that promise. 

Beyond his personal commitment to the area, Rep. Costa helped form the downtown task force that was the precursor to the Downtown Fresno Partnership during his days in the state legislature and has advocated for federal investment to improve public transit downtown. 

"These TIGER projects are the best argument you can make for investment in our transportation infrastructure," said Secretary Foxx.  "The Fulton Mall reconstruction project will revitalize Fresno's downtown business district, increase local economic activity and improve transportation options for residents."

To make the case for the Fulton Mall TIGER Grant, Costa worked closely with California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer to urge the U.S. Department of Transportation to see the impact the grant would have for downtown and the city as a whole.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein said, “I am very pleased with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx’s decision to award a TIGER grant to Fresno for redevelopment of the Fulton Mall. I’ve worked in partnership with Mayor Swearingen for several years to secure federal funding and necessary permits for this important project that will help jumpstart much-needed economic development in the heart of Fresno. The Fulton Mall reconstruction—which will transform the dated pedestrian mall into a pedestrian-friendly avenue in the city's urban core—will play a key role in the revitalization of downtown Fresno.”

Senator Barbara Boxer added, “Since the early 1990’s, I have worked hard to see that the federal government is a full partner in Fresno’s downtown revitalization. We have seen approximately 4,000 new federal employees come to downtown since then, and this grant will add to that effort. I applaud the Obama administration’s commitment to Fresno.”

This TIGER grant announcement is part of a national effortto highlight the transformative power of transportation investments in local economies. The Fresno project will be funded by a partnership between local, state, and federal governments.