A mixed-used development that could bring new shopping, apartments and restaurants to downtown Paso Robles is getting closer to becoming a reality.
The City Council on Tuesday approved a nearly 16,000-square-foot development slated for the old Hometown Nursery site at 1803 Spring St.
The project came before the council in June, but members returned the plans for revisions, citing potential parking and trash pickup issues, along with other neighbor concerns.
Deborah Longo of Montecito Choice LLC — who previously co-owned Justin Vineyards and Winery before selling the business in 2010 — is the project developer. She said she wants to create a public market-type space that complements Downtown City Park.
“This will be a destination-type place,” she said.
Longo said she plans to close on the property — which has remained vacant since Hometown Nursery moved to a new location in 2008 — by the end of August.
She estimated she paid about $1.7 million for the site, which includes a historic house built by almond grower J.H. Van Wormer in 1890. Longo declined to provide information about the total cost of the project.
In response to concerns about parking, the project’s revised plans reduce the number of tandem parking spaces and include diagonal parking on 18th and 19th streets, with parallel parking on Spring Street.
Per council recommendations, trash containers were also moved away from an alley to reduce late-night noise, and the developers plan to arrange for daytime trash pickup to further reduce noise.
Five separate buildings will make up the property, which will be connected with breezeways. Longo said she expects a restaurant to occupy the historic home, and a marketplace with 20 to 22 rentable spaces will take up the middle of the property.
Restaurants, retail and residental spaces will fill the rest of the property.
Longo said she’s especially excited for the marketplace, which she hopes will help boost small businesses. She said she plans to model it after Oxbow Public Market in Napa.
Once the permitting process is complete, crews could start breaking ground this year, Longo said. Work will likely take a year-and-a-half to two years, she said.
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