Lawsuits shrink plans for Fresno’s El Paseo development

The Fresno Bee – December 31, 2012

Map of El Paseo's proposed development

Plans for a giant shopping and entertainment center off Highway 99 at Herndon Avenue, once hyped as northwest Fresno’s answer to River Park, are headed for a downgrade.

Two lawsuits challenging the project, one from the managers of the River Park commercial plaza eight miles away, have prompted the developer to scale back the proposed Marketplace at El Paseo — at least for the time being.

About half of the 238 acres initially slated for El Paseo’s shops, hotels, offices and movie theater are now off the table, leaving in place only plans for the retail and restaurant portion of the project, where Target has been mentioned as a likely tenant.

Developer Chris Shane of Los Angeles-based Gryphon Capital declined to discuss the reasons behind the change. But he said he still is committed to building a premier shopping destination in Fresno, adding that El Paseo would be one of the region’s biggest construction projects once it’s off the ground next year.