The Atascadero developer planning the mixed-use La Plaza project has bought more downtown real estate, potentially for another development.
Mike Zappas now owns multiple properties on El Camino Real, from Malibu Brew Coffee at 6490 El Camino Real to a vacant gas station at the Traffic Way intersection.
Zappas in February closed escrow on a 1.49-acre site across from the Sunken Gardens that developer Larry Wysong had been planning to use for a mixed retail, restaurant and office development.
But Wysong’s project, which was approved by the City Council in 2013, never came to fruition. Zappas now intends to pursue a similar project that will combine retail, residential and office space.
Around the same time Zappas bought the La Plaza property, he also purchased an adjacent site that’s home to a now-vacant Jack in the Box.
He plans to combine the two properties to create a 1.83-acre site with a three-story structure that will feature 40 apartments, 9,700 square feet of office space and 18,000 square feet of retail space. He estimated the project will cost $12 million to $15 million.
“We’re hoping that we can bring all these retailers in and get the best in the county,” Zappas said.
In addition, Zappas bought the old Founder’s Community Bank building and the vacant gas station at the end of the street. He said he purchased all the El Camino Real properties for a total of $2.5 million.
The Founder’s Community Bank building is now occupied by Zappas’ offices and Patterson Realty. Zappas has commissioned murals to be painted on the bank building and the gas station. He plans to rent out the station, potentially as a wine bar or a tasting room.
Zappas said he’d like to develop the rest of the street, but plans to complete the initial project before moving forward.
The development will begin going through the public hearing process in November, and Zappas said he hopes to break ground next spring.