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

Designs on Wine

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Architectural firm has quietly built a reputation for innovative buildings that have shaped the look and feel of the county’s wine industry

By Janis Switzer
Special to the Tribune

San Luis Obispo County has seen an explosion in the number of new wineries and tasting rooms in the past decade.
Many of these wineries “Bianchi Winery, Robert Hall Winery, Justin Winery, and Baileyana Winery” feature some of the most innovative, creative and striking architecture on the Central Coast. Behind the architecture of these new structures is one firm: Steven D. Pults, AIA & Associates of San Luis Obispo. A Cal Poly graduate, Pults started the firm out of his second bedroom in 1980 after working as an architect for three years in Santa Maria. Initially focused on commercial, industrial and office building projects, he eventually got into medical facilities and residential design.

In 1986, Pults hired fellow Cal Poly graduate Tim Woodle. A native of Sonoma County, it was Woodle who one day would lead their “winery team,” catapulting the firm into the winery-design business. “We first started about 12 years ago,” remembers Woodle, “with a small Santa Maria project for Kendall-Jackson.” The success of that project led them to design Kendall-Jackson’s huge new winery south of Salinas in Monterey County. A cover story in Practical Winery magazine about the project put the architectural firm front and center in the winery design business.

Pults and Woodle have been partners since 1996, and the firm employs 16 people, mostly Cal Poly graduates. The list of winery projects completed by the firm in the past 10 years is impressive. About 20 winery projects have been completed, including: Domaine Alfred, Orcutt Road Cellars, Edna Valley Vineyards and Alban Vineyards in Edna Valley, and Bianchi Vineyards, Justin Winery and Robert Hall in Paso Robles. “With all the buildings I’ve built in Minnesota and Arizona,” Robert Hall says, “I realize we are so lucky to have a firm of such quality and integrity right here in this area. “I would recommend them for anyone who needs a lot of creativity and a lot of hard work.” The Robert Hall project included a winery, 19,000 square feet of caves, and a recently opened hospitality center that includes a large tasting room, dining room, 200-person amphitheater and winery offices.

Pults and Woodle have a staggering 27 winery projects in the planning process. Some are simple tasting rooms, while others, such as the Vina Robles project on Highway 46 East in Paso Robles, are huge. The four-phase Vina Robles complex includes a 14,000-square-foot tasting room with banquet facilities, an 85-room high-end hotel, a state-of-the-art winery and a spa. Construction is to start “any day” on the tasting room, with the winery plans starting this spring, and the hotel starting in the next four to five years. According to Hans R. Michel, president and managing partner at Vina Robles, the complex will have “mission- and hacienda-style architecture.” He also praises Woodle as “very good to work with.”

Other projects under way by the Pults firm include major facilities at Linne Calado Winery, Niner West Estates, Opolo Winery, Rotta Winery and York Mountain. The firm does no advertising and relies on word of mouth for gaining new business. “We’ve been extremely fortunate,” Pults says, “the more work we do, the more opportunities we get.” Pults and Woodle estimate that they have worked on 80 percent of the county’s winery projects in the last 10 years. One advantage Woodle brings to his winery clients is his own understanding of the winemaking process. Making wine himself at his Templeton home, Woodle has a unique appreciation of his customers’ needs. “Architecture is an extension of their personality and the personality of their wines,” Woodle says. A winemaker’s “architecture is one of their marketing tools.” Woodle notes that, in the case of Justin Winery, the wines, labels, marketing materials and building carry the same look and theme.

Beyond the design of a building itself, Pults and Woodle also focus on the mechanical winemaking facilities inside the structure, from presses, pump systems and conveyor belts to fermentation tanks and waste water ponds. The pair believe they are most successful when they are pulled into a project from the beginning, so they can be involved with the design of the winery, inside and out. Regarding future design, they say the importance of “green building” in which the focus is to reduce energy reliance and maximize renewable and eco-friendly resources, is the way of the future. Talking of both design and function, Woodle says “as residents of this county we feel we have a responsibility to do these (winery) facilities as well as can be done,” adding “we take design very, very seriously.”

© The Tribune 2006