The building that formerly housed the Sears appliance showroom in downtown Paso Robles is undergoing an extensive remodel to freshen up its look. The structure at 10th and Spring streets is part of a commercial complex owned by San Luis Obispo resident Richard Blake.
Blake is also co-owner of Poor Richard's Press, a longtime local company that once had a sales office on the site.
Under construction since last year, the building is expected to house two new retail shops or offices. So far, a Verizon Wireless retailer has signed on, said Lora Eade, real estate broker for Key Land Co.
In 2008, Blake leased the 3,600-square-foot building to Sears.
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“Sears was a good tenant, and did well, until 2011,” Blake said.
That year, the city worked to fix an issue with the complex’s existing parking lot on 10th Street, since it had extended into 10th Street and blocked access to extend the sidewalk from the new courthouse, according to city staff.
The change prompted Sears to leave because the parking issue made it difficult for the retailer to load appliances in company and customer vehicles.
After that, Blake said he decided to remodel the site, dividing the large showroom into two smaller spaces, at about 1,800 square feet each.
The remodel began last year and is the second part of a larger plan “to create a complex that is consistent with the newer public service buildings in the immediate vicinity,” Eade added.
The buildings are located across from the brick-facade City Hall/Library and the new Paso Robles branch of San Luis Obispo Superior Court.
The revamp work is slated to wrap up in the next few months.
The first phase began in 2011 when Blake remodeled the adjacent spaces that formerly housed Jack's Coffee House and Pacific Western Bank.
One of these spaces is now occupied by We Help You Legal Services.
Blake’s remodels have meant new walls, roofs, ceilings, floors, electrical work, plumbing, glass, doors, and heating and air conditioning systems.
Blake declined to disclose how much money he’s invested into the remodels but said the design was geared toward energy efficiency, low maintenance and handicap accessibility.