SLO Chamber of Commerce moves to Monterey Street

acornejo@thetribunenews.comFebruary 25, 2013 

The San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce made its big move Monday to its new building on Monterey Street after 42 years at the same downtown location.

The chamber and the Visitors Center plan to open for business again Tuesday at 895 Monterey St., on the corner of Monterey and Morro streets, in the historic Paiarola building.

The move was prompted by the planned seismic retrofit at the chamber's former location on Chorro Street near Higuera Street.

Ermina Karim, chamber president and CEO, would not disclose how much the chamber paid for tenant improvements. Those costs were paid for by a loan, using capital reserves and through a capital campaign among members, which has raised $150,000 so far, she said.

The project was designed by RRM Design Group. The construction was done by Maino Construction Co. and the interior design was by Design Collaborative.

The building’s 3,316-square-foot design features an open floor plan for the administrative offices, a larger meeting space for members and up-to-date technology.

A $55,000 grant from PG&E to Leadership San Luis Obispo, an independent program of the chamber, was used to help make tenant improvements environmentally sustainable and reduce ongoing operational costs.

The chamber is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the design. That effort has been overseen by In Balance Green Consulting. If successful, San Luis Obispo will be one of the only chambers in the nation to receive the designation, according to chamber officials.

“We are tremendously excited about our new chamber home,” Karim said. “This historic move and critical reinvestment in chamber operations and the visitors’ center will continue to elevate the standard of service we can deliver to our local business community, residents and visitors. This facility will serve the business community long into the future.”

A grand-opening celebration is planned for April.

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