Biz Buzz: More shopping coming to Atascadero

A 4,800-square-foot retail center in Atascadero’s West Front Village, a mixed-use project set on 13 acres west of Highway 101 on Santa Rosa Street in Atascadero, will break ground within the next two months, according to John Rossetti, one of the development’s owners.

The center will be divided into four separate stores, most probably used for food services such as a coffee shop or yogurt store, Rossetti said.

The first two installments of the project have already been built: an 80-room Holiday Inn Express and Suites, open since July 2008, and a Jack in the Box, open since summer, Rossetti added.

The complex will also include a sit-down restaurant, a business park and a housing subdivision. Rossetti said he is currently in negotiations with a single tenant for the park but would not disclose any future plans for the development. The housing subdivision is planned for 32 home sites — 14 single-family detached homes and 18 single-family duplex units.

— Melanie Cleveland

Granite Stairway Outfitters closing

Granite Stairway Outdoor and Travel Outfitters, which has offered sleeping bags, backpacks, travel and camping gear for 30 years in San Luis Obispo, will close Friday.

Owner Jim Chapman, who seven years ago took over the store at 871 Santa Rosa St., cited the “terrible” economy as the reason for closure. “It’s for the same reason’s that other businesses are closing,” he said.

The store employed two part-time workers.

Sales are being held to clear out the final inventory of boots and sleeping bags.

— Julia Hickey

SLO chamber hires two new people

The San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce recently hired two new employees: Lindsey Haring and Whitney Diaz.

Haring is the new assistant to president/CEO Dave Garth, and will help organize chamber events including Good Morning SLO and monthly board meetings.

Haring moved to San Luis Obispo in 2003 to attend Cal Poly and is currently completing a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies through the distance education program offered through Chico State University.

Diaz is the new Internet and publications director responsible for managing and updating the chamber’s Web sites. In the past five years, Diaz has worked as a reporter and copy editor for several daily and weekly newspapers, including The Tribune.

She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008.

The San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce has about 1,500 members and a paid staff of 16.

— Julia Hickey