If you’ve walked or driven around Sunken Gardens in Atascadero lately, you’ve probably wondered about a now-vacant property near City Hall.
The 5920 West Mall site — formerly occupied by a Cuesta Medical Group office and owned by Dr. Steve Goodman — was recently torn down to make way for new Pacific Central Coast Health Center offices.
Pacific Central Coast, a wholly owned affiliate of Dignity Health, bought Cuesta Medical Group in 2015. Goodman is now Pacific Central Coast’s vice president of clinical operations and rents the space to the medical group.
The West Mall office was targeted for a renovation after a crack was found in the former building’s foundation, said Megan Maloney, a Dignity Health spokeswoman. The building was torn down to allow a replacement office to be built.
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“We needed to make some improvements to the building, for sure,” she said.
Goodman will pay for the office’s exterior infrastructure, and Dignity Health will finance its interior and manage Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development regulation compliance, Maloney said. The new space, expected to open in 2018, will include primary care and walk-in clinic offices, she said.
“They are very excited about it,” Maloney said. “Now, it’s going to be brand-new and beautiful.”
Those interested in seeing more retail and restaurants come to the Sunken Gardens area may be disappointed the space won’t be used for a new store or eatery. But Terrie Banish, deputy city manager, said the city is working to “set the downtown in a direction that results in a synergy that supports economic development.”
“The city is proactively interested in stimulating economic development in the downtown, especially around Sunken Gardens Park, which is the heart of the City,” she said in an email. “To this end, staff is working on new zoning options that will cater to land use such as restaurants, entertainment and retail uses, rather than medical offices on the ground floor.”
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