Flurry of projects in SLO set to finish in ’09

Friday, December 28th, 2007

WestPac developments at the airport and downtown include a hotel, retail space and a historic building’s renovation

Melanie Cleveland

Hamish Marshall’s Westpac Investments is moving ahead with several commercial developments in and around San Luis Obispo County.

WestPac is continuing with its downtown Garden Street Terraces hotel/condo project – an Osos and Marsh streets commercial redevelopment – a revitalization of an abandoned building in the historic Railroad Square and a new airport hotel, Marshall said. All three should be completed by 2009.

Two 12,000-square-foot commercial buildings are also slated for construction within the next few months and finished within the year in West-Pac’s Aerovista Business Park, a 10-acre commercial complex adjacent to the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport. The buildings are part of a five-building master plan for the 10-acre park.

To fit into the airport setting, the park’s buildings were designed by architecture firm Steven Pults & Associates to appear aeronautical, with a lot of glass and distinctive wing-like overhangs. The first two such buildings, 40,000 to 48,000 square feet in size, were built in the park in 2001. The other three were to follow about a year later, but Marshall delayed construction for the next two until he re-engineered the buildings’ designs to bring down construction costs.

“We stood to lose money on the buildings as we first designed them,” Marshall said. “Now, at least, we hope to meet our costs and then some.”

Marshall declined to elaborate on the cost of the buildings, but according to the city’s building permit valuations, the first two buildings cost him about $1 million each.

The final and largest structure to complete the park, which Marshall estimated would be between 60,000 and 75,000 square feet, should be under construction in 2009.

© The Tribune 2007

Mixed-use project would be a first

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

A development that mixes residences with light industry and retail shops is considered one answer to housing problems

Melanie Cleveland

San Luis Obispo-based Quaglino Properties may start construction as early as next month on Sycamore Plaza, San Luis Obispo’s first mixed-use project with residences in an industrial zone at 3592 Sacramento Drive. The construction could well be a presage of more flexible zoning to come, where stores go up alongside light industry, in the midst of coffee shops, townhouses and apartments.

“This helps with the city’s mandate to produce housing,” said project developer Matt Quaglino, who is making both the residential and commercial spaces ‘condo-able’, so that people will have the option to buy or rent what they want. “And we feel there’s always a need for good commercial space, whether it’s someone who’s moving in the area, someone who is expanding or just relocating.”

The Quaglinos got the go-ahead for the project from the Planning Commission almost two years ago. The development, designed by San Luis Obispo architect firm, Steven D. Pults and Associates, will have two buildings. One will be entirely commercial and have a single level. The other will have three stories, with apartments on the second and third stories.

“The residential flats will be about 1,300 square feet each, with one or two bedrooms, fireplaces, and washers and dryers. Total square footage for both buildings is more than 36,000 square feet,” Pults said.

“Since the project was approved, it has been redesigned with less-expensive construction materials to make the project more affordable,” Quaglino said.

“It had a lot of masonry and concrete, he said. “Now it’s basically stick-framed.

Quaglino predicted the new Sacramento Drive project, estimated to cost about $5 million, will be finished within 14 months.

© The Tribune 2007