The Fresno Bridge Club has been located at 2415 E. Clinton Ave., Fresno, since 1963. Many changes have occurred in this section of Fresno during the past 45 years. Unit members have tolerated a flooded parking lot, an occasional leaky roof and a mold problem. It has been difficult to recruit new players because of the competition with country clubs, women’s clubs and other groups that have better facilities and location.
In 2007, a committee was formed for the purpose of relocating the Fresno Bridge Club. The committee included a Certified Public Accountant, an attorney and a banker specializing in commercial property lending. The committee had two primary criteria, one being ample parking and the second an increased playing area.
After reviewing several properties presented to the Committee that did not meet the Unit’s criteria, the Committee recommended that the Board of Directors enter into an exclusive agreement with Colliers Tingey International, a commercial realtor, to locate suitable property. The Committee reviewed many properties that were for sale but few met the criteria and those that did cost well in excess of $1 million regardless if the facility existed or would be newly constructed. It was determined that the cost exceeded the Unit’s ability to obtain a loan or to make loan payments if a loan were available.
The committee reviewed approximately 60 properties for lease in the northern portion of the Greater Fresno-Clovis area and concluded that the property located at 1320 East Shaw Avenue #100 satisfied our needs and was affordable.
The Board of Directors initiated lease negotiations in July 2008 and the negotiations were just concluded. The ten-year lease will begin when the Unit occupies the building on or about April 15, 2009. Demolition and construction of the tenant improvement will begin shortly and the Board is happy to announce that the new facility will consist of two game rooms and a large kitchen. Big screen monitors will be an important part of the bridge lessons provided to new and existing players. Additionally, the large monitors will allow players to view scoring of the game from the comfort of their chairs. A water filter system installed in the kitchen will provide filtered water for an icemaker, coffee and drinking. The facility will be vacuumed and cleaned by a commercial service four days a week with a more thorough cleaning on the fifth day. Restroom facilities are conveniently located in an adjacent building just twenty steps from the front door in a well-lighted covered atrium. Parking is in abundance and a security guard is provided to assure safety in the complex. Board members have spoken with other tenants in the complex and they all reported they were very pleased with the complex and felt safe in the area.
No decision has been made at this time to increase player fees. It is the Board’s hope that an increase in membership will occur because of the great location and lovely facility and that the fund raising efforts now going on will provide the funds to offset the increase in rent. This question will be taken up again after the move.
The Board of Directors desired a facility that would be impressive. They have chosen an appealing color scheme that includes new tables and chairs, with coordinating rich carpet, tile and cabinets. The Board hopes that the new facility will provide an environment that will bring in new players and help our club grow and be prosperous for many years to come.