Clint Pearce of Madonna Enterprises has backed out of the large development planned for the Dalidio Ranch in San Luis Obispo.
Developer Gary Grossman said he will continue the project on his own.
“Clint just doesn’t really want to deal with how much energy (it’s) going to take. There is nothing easy about this,” said Grossman. “I would have liked to do it with Clint because he has done a lot of commercial development in the city, but I understand his reluctance.”
Pearce said that because the project is still in the due diligence phase, now is the time to commit or pull out.
“We’ve got a lot of other irons in the fire, as does Gary, but we are a small shop over here and doing a lot of good things at the Madonna Inn and our commercial centers,” said Pearce, adding that he decided the Dalidio project would be too time-consuming.
“The project doesn’t need me to get done, and I decided that I probably ought to let him go alone,” Pearce said.
The conceptual plans for the project on the 131-acre ranch include as many as 500 homes along with farmland and open space. An enclave of commercial space, tucked next to the existing SLO Promenade shopping center, would be capped at about 200,000 square feet, according to preliminary plans.
Grossman has built a number of residential projects along the Central Coast, such as the Vistas at Mesa Verde in Orcutt, and some commercial projects including the Pismo Beach Medical Center.
Pearce, who has an extensive background in commercial development, intended to oversee the retail portion of the project.
Grossman said that he is financially able to do the project without a partner but might consider bringing someone in at a later date with expertise in commercial development.
“I own a lot of shopping centers up and down the coast. I know what I am doing,” Grossman said.
Pearce recently said that the development would not include a high-end department store such as Macy’s or Nordstrom Rack as previously portrayed by Grossman — instead, affordable shopping was envisioned.
On Tuesday, Grossman said that he would not eliminate the possibility of a high-end department store.
“My eyes are open and my ears are open and I’m trying to do exactly what I should be doing, which is listening to the public and listening to the council and staff and entertaining what demand is out there,” Grossman said. “I don’t want to say there won’t be this or there won’t be that. I haven’t even submitted anything yet.”