Neighborhood Spotlight - Little Italy Fresno
After being in San Francisco for a few weeks and getting the chance to talk about the The Daily Uplander I hopped the train down to Fresno to catch up with my man Bdag. A fellow broadcaster and all around solid fellow. After having flashbacks to my exciting talks with TDavis about Little Italy NYC I didn't know what to expect in good old Fresno. So why don't you find out together with me, let's jump right in.
So, Bdag, thanks so much for having me. Tell me a little about your block explorer name.
It's just a contractive diminutive of my first and last names. My first name is pretty common and my last name is more complex but I've simplified it to Dag which has been my nickname since late college, and has helped distinguish me from others who share my given name.
Holy Cow! Listen to the vocabulary on this guy! No wonder he is a broadcaster, he's almost as well using letter lines me too also! Alright there showoff, tell me a little more about your favorite neighborhood in Upland. Where is it, and how did you come to make it a focus?
Little Italy, Fresno (AKA LI-F)
TDavis had already cemented himself as leader of Little Italy, NY. I had tried to get in but only had a few hundred thousand UPX net worth and little liquidity at the time, plus a policy to not fiat in any more money. I liked TD's vision for LI-NY and we started talking. As soon as Fresno neighborhoods were revealed I mentioned to TD that there was a Little Italy in there. I started treasure hunting like crazy and flipping a few properties to increase my liquidity, in preparation. We created a team to go in and mint as much as we could. All together we ended up with 80% of the neighborhood based on UP². Our joint ownership will allow us to have greater control over the style and direction of the neighborhood.
That is some serious planning. I am impressed. I know that power move certainly caught my attention and many others. So now that you are at the reigns, how do you the neighborhood will develop? Do you see it being primarily residential, business or more of a mixed use?
The neighborhood has a good mix of larger business lots in the NE and central part, and a lot of great smaller lots in the western part. The nice thing about Fresno in general is that the lots are bigger than San Francisco. Many standard lots in SF are around 25-30 UP² but in LI-F specifically many of them are in the 70-80 UP² range. A lot more breathing room and better property development potential. Not to mention, since property development costs are tied to minting price, I expect that property development in Fresno will be 1/5 - 1/10 the UPX outlay.
So with development being so available and affordable, what type of development do you see working in LI-F?
LI-F has a key location at a freeway exit, a train station, near the executive airport and with two main routes going through it. Once transportation becomes more like it's IRL counterpart we'll be strategically located. Plus with the ties to Italy we could create a nice little tourist trap. But as the ties are also to LI-NY we want to help incubate design services, web services and other services that will be considered as essential to Upland in the future. We want you to say, "How did we Upland without these guys before?!" We've already started by creating a Chrome Extension to the game that is being beta tested via NFT invitation only.
You guys really have an amazing roadmap worked out. There is obviously a ton of thought that was put into this venture. So what do you plan to do specifically with your properties in LI-F?
I have a couple of my own IRL businesses that I would like to establish. One is to utilize my 9-5 professionalism as a home designer. More specifics coming in the future. But I also want to do some property development and lease out the buildings to others so that they can start getting a foothold in the business aspect of the game.
Yes, of course. Your business is listed in the Upland Uncovered Yellow Pages. I am excited to see the design you will be able to create for us Uplanders. So do you see any properties in the neighborhood that would be suited for a community ownership arrangement?
Other than one larger and several tiny locked properties everything is owned. There is a phantom property in the NW corner that IRL is one medium lot of ~1000UP² and a large size lot of at least 2500UP². Who knows what this could be in the future if it's ever made available?
That would be a really interesting to see what can be done with those large lots. So do you have any particular initiatives that you are hoping to see implemented in LI-F?
This neighborhood is inherently tied to LI-NY and will make a good extension of the goals therein. We plan to use LI-F to act as a low cost incubator for testing business ideas before bringing them to the big time in the Big Apple.
That seems like a really smart move. It's like you are implementing your own version of a business FSA. I expect this will draw a lot of attention from those that are serious about business in Upland. So what is your pitch to perspective people interested in LI-F? Why is it so special?
The community within Little Italy in general is hands down one of the top communities, on par with Alamo Square. Definitely a Tier 1 Community if such a thing were a metric. Alamo Square is also super exclusive, locked at 316 properties. LI-NY is only a little easier to get into with 504 properties. But we've essentially added 364 properties to that number by linking the 2 Little Italys together and creating a cohesive experience across both cities. Obviously NY will be more happening but if it's already gotten out of your price range, consider the Fresno satellite.
Amazing. So is there anything you consider Iconic or Historical about the neighborhood?
IRL, LI-F is not a very notable neighborhood. But being the metaverse we can break those boundaries and create something here that will be unparalleled elsewhere.
Well it sounds like you are going to be what makes LI-F Iconic. So lastly, is there anything that we haven't talked about that you want to mention about the neighborhood.
I keep mentioning 'we' a lot in the article. I wouldn't call myself 'mayor' of LI-F but I am the most propertied landowner. We consider ourselves to be more under mob-, er, council ruling. Yeah, that's it. Council. Joining us has certain benefits and protections, so to speak. I certainly wouldn't want to be caught not owning some property here, y'know, for your own benefit.
After hearing your plans I firmly believe you have made the whole of Fresno take notice, and if people aren't careful you just may make Fresno the place to be. Doesn't sound like we want to mess with the....um...council. Thanks again for your time, and it looks like I need to go shopping in LI-F, know anybody?
If you aren’t already a member of the Upland community use this link to join up and get a 50% bonus on your first purchase.
If you are a fan of the Little Italy art in the “spotlight” part of the article’s banner, reach out to TDavis and see if you can get hooked up with a Little Italy logo NFT. Also keep your eye open for a Spotlight NFT for this interview to drop in the Upland Fan Art collection.
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