Business · Fresno

Back on the block: Fresno Co. moves to sell former University Medical Center

Fresno’s former University Medical Center is once again up for sale. 

On Tuesday, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to list the property – located at the north east corner of E. Kings Canyon Rd. and S. Cedar Ave. – for sale at a minimum price of $6 million. 

The site includes the two six-story towers, with a four-story connecting wing and several low-rise buildings. 

The Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health currently occupies the surrounding buildings for various operations, including drug and alcohol treatment and counseling and mental health services. 

Behavioral Health is also in the process of moving its operations to two other sites: Shields and Millbrook Avenues and Olive and Clovis Avenues. 

Under state law, certain governmental organizations will have the first crack at purchasing the property to use for public purposes, such as open space, parks and recreation or affordable housing development. 

If no such agency comes forward in the next two months, the other interested parties can approach the county with an offer. 

The county has scheduled a site tour for interested parties for August 30. 

Tuesday’s action comes a couple of months after the City of Fresno axed a deal that would have seen the property developed into affordable housing. 

Fresno County had previously agreed to sell the property to CMG Construction Management in September 2019 for $4 million and entered into a regulatory agreement with the City of Fresno to oversee the development and make the sale possible to circumvent the rules of the Surplus Land Act. 

But the Fresno City Council backed out of the deal in March due to a conflict of interest, which had “tainted” the agreement. 

Although City Council Vice President Nelson Esparza did not name the individual who caused the conflict of interest, the signs point to Steve Rapada, Supervisor Sal Quintero’s former chief of staff, who surrendered to law enforcement last October and was charged with a conflict of interest felony. 

The Sun broke the news of Rapada’s arrest tied to his work as a paid consultant to CMG Construction while serving on Quintero’s staff.

Daniel Gligich
Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.