‘Pointe’-ing toward completion

Matt Weir / The Collegian
Campus Pointe and plans for future begin to take shape

Construction of Campus Pointe is now well under way and completion dates for some parts of the project are within sight.

“The project is moving forward and we’re excited about the housing developments that are underway,” Administrative Services Vice President Cynthia Teniente-Matson said.

Since the project was announced in May 2005, it has been the focal point for controversy and debate.

Issues that have surrounded the development project have ranged from economical disputes over the allocation of tax dollars to traffic congestion and local business competition.

University officials said Campus Pointe will enhance the university by providing housing, conference areas, meeting rooms, entertainment, retail and dining opportunities.

Officials also said that the project will add educational value to Fresno State by providing learning experiences through job and internship opportunities relating to business, hospitality, food service, tourism, marketing and gerontology.

‘Natural link’ to campus?

Despite varying concerns about the impacts the development would have on the university and the community, the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) as well as the campus master plan was approved in May 2007. In July 2007, plans for the commercial projects were approved and in Sept. 2007, the plans for the housing complexes were approved.

Campus Pointe Site Plan courtesy of Master Plan Web site.

Once complete, Campus Pointe, officially titled “Campus Pointe at Fresno State,” will occupy a 45-acre portion of university-owned land located across from the Save Mart Center at the northeast corner of Chestnut and Shaw Avenues. “There will be a natural link and connection from the center of campus to the Campus Pointe area,” Dr. Paul Oliaro, vice president for student affairs, said. The land has been leased to Kashian Enterprises LP, the same company responsible for the development of River Park.

While the state’s budget crisis has taken its toll on Fresno State through budget cuts and enrollment freezes, Deborah Adishian-Astone, associate vice president for auxiliary operations, said that as the $167 million project moves forward, Fresno State will not be affected financially. “The project will be entirely financed by the developer, who will have sole responsibility for the debt service,” she said. “No state or trustee financing will be required. The developer will manage and sub-lease the project to various tenants.”

Adishian-Astone said Campus Pointe adds to the overall experience for Fresno State students. “Students will have the ability to walk or bicycle to a variety of new amenities and services currently unavailable on or near campus,” she said.

Phases include housing, hotel, retail

The construction of Campus Pointe began in May 2008. According to Adishian-Astone, the project’s four major components will be completed in phases.

“Campus Pointe provides additional quality housing options near the east end of campus,” Matson said. The 478,000 square foot multi-family housing complex will sit on approximately 12 acres and consist of 360 housing units to accommodate workforce and student renters.

Construction on this portion started in May 2008 and is scheduled for completion in July. Construction of the standard and student housing began in Feb. 2008. Phase I is set to open in July.

A 200,000 square foot, luxury, high-rise senior housing project that will consist of 180 units and sit on approximately four acres is set to begin construction in August.

In addition these various housing complexes, which may one day house 1,400 residents, Campus Pointe will also be home to new retail and dining spaces, a movie theater and a hotel.

The 120,000 square foot Hyatt Place Hotel will consist of 200 rooms and 10,000 square feet of conference and meeting room space on seven acres. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2010.

Campus Pointe will accommodate 230,000 square feet of retail space and a 55,000 square foot, 14-screen, 2,700-seat megaplex that can be used as overflow classroom space. This portion of the development will sit on approximately 22-acres. Construction is scheduled to begin in July.

Once complete, Adishian-Astone said Campus Pointe will support student activities such as Homecoming, Vintage Days, athletic events, student academic conferences and other events that require overnight stays.

“The quality of life for students living on campus will be dramatically improved by the addition of new housing, entertainment, dining and shopping opportunities,” she said.

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