A natural food store, a restaurant, a café and some other retail shops will open in San Luis Obispo’s University Square shopping center later this year.
Construction started about three months ago on a project to remodel and revitalize the 5.6-acre center at Santa Rosa Avenue and Foothill Boulevard, which once housed a New Frontiers grocery store and a Bank of America.
Developer Nick Tompkins of NKT Real Properties LLC, who purchased the property in 2012 from a group of investors, said he hopes all of the businesses will be up and running later this fall.
They include Lassen’s Natural Foods & Vitamins, a business that debuted in Camarillo in 1971 and has expanded to 10 stores; and Rite-Aid, which is relocating from its current spot in the Foothill Plaza shopping center.
Tompkins said the plans also include a new restaurant, a coffee shop that will serve breakfast and an assortment of other retail shops. Several current businesses will stay put: Club 24 fitness club, Golden 1 Credit Union, Domino’s Pizza and University Barber Shop.
The current shopping center includes about 87,000 square feet of retail space; the plan approved by the city’s Architectural Review Commission last April calls for the demolition of two buildings and a portion of a third, as well as construction of a new building.
Tompkins declined to share the project cost.
Four distinct outdoor plaza and seating areas will be built, including a two-level seating area near the natural food store. Doing so will reduce the overall amount of retail and restaurant space to about 82,000 square feet, according to the project plans.
“We’re actually reducing the number of square feet, but doing so to make it a nicer place,” Tompkins said.