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Campus Pointe to break ground

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Campus Pointe will break ground today on the development of their retail buidlings. Matt Vieira / The Collegian

The long awaited construction of Campus Pointe will begin after a groundbreaking ceremony today, setting in motion the next phase of development that Fresno State hopes will provide new opportunities and convenience for students.

Located adjacent to the Save Mart Center, the project plans to be a new focal point for the community. Yet as Debbie Adishian-Astone, associate vice president for auxiliary operations and enterprise development at Fresno State, said such a large-scale operation has to be approved and finalized through a number of parties.

“A large, public-private mixed use project such as Campus Pointe takes many years to plan and implement,” Adishian-Astone said.

While the Palmilla and Palazzo apartments were completed in 2009 and 2010, work was stalled while the California State University Board of Trustees revised the environmental impact report.

The first phase of retail development is now underway. The 250,000 square feet of space will include a 14-screen cinema, restaurants and shopping.

The new commercial plaza “will complement the campus and provide services and options” currently not available, Adishian-Astone said.

“It will provide jobs and internship opportunities for our students, and it will hopefully add to the campus life.”

The university hopes having a shopping complex in close proximity to the campus will create a new experience for students, one similar to the atmosphere of a college town.

Matt Andrew, the marketing director of Palazzo apartments, expressed his excitement for the project offering convenience. Often using it as a selling point to future residents, Andrew said Palazzo is “anticipating the day that it’ll be finished.”

 “We have been waiting quite a while for it, and we’re really excited for it actually coming to the point where it can be used,” he said.

Also included in the plans are a Hyatt Place Hotel, meeting center and 30,000 square feet of office space that Adishian-Astone said “will help to support university events and programs.”

While largely geared toward students, senior living apartments are also planned to create a cosmopolitan setting for all ages.

Lance-Kashian & Co., the same company behind River Park, will develop Campus Pointe.