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

Heritage Oaks Bank branches out

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

The bank is set to be a tenant of a new building

Melanie Cleveland

Heritage Oaks Bank will have a new Templeton branch in a $2.5 million building under construction at 1255 Las Tablas Drive. The building was designed by Steven D. Pults and Associates in San Luis Obispo.

Owned by North County oncologist and real estate developer Dr. Sanjay Ganpule, the building is across the street from another Pults-designed structure, which is also owned by Ganpule. The $5.7 million, 52,000-square-foot Omkar Medical Plaza was completed in July 2006. Both Ganpule buildings are within a block of Twin Cities Community Hospital.

The new building is a smaller version of the Omkar Medical Building, “similar in character, but not in kind,” said Rob Carnes, the project’s construction manager and president of Ground Up Design and Construction Management Inc.

“They both are reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright design, with braced roofs, use of brick materials and strong horizontal lines.”

The design architect for the buildings is Tim Woodle, a principal with Steven D. Pults and Associates.

Heritage Oaks Bank started a small, ‘starter’ branch in the Omkar Medical Plaza this year while it waited for the larger, 3,500-square-foot space to be built.

“Being across the street from the hospital, it had all the markings of a very nice location,” said Larry Ward, president of Heritage Oaks Bank. “We’ll be on one of the busiest streets in Templeton with a very visible presence and drive-through banking.”

Other tenants coming to the new office building include a medical practice group, Central Coast Gastroenterology, and a New York-style gourmet deli and juice bar, owned by Eric Hice of Hice Cellars of Paso Robles and Dr. James B. Carr.

The building, where construction started in September, should have its shell completed by July and be ready for complete occupancy by the end of 2008, Carnes said.

Yet another Ganpule building is slated to go up within the next 18 months on an acre next to the Omkar Medical Plaza at 1310 Las Tablas Road. Still in its preliminary design phase, the project will most likely have 24,000 square feet of medical professional offices, Carnes said.

© 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