Biz Buzz: SLO home store readies its new home

The orange fences are up and renovations are under way at Daylight Home, Lighting and Patio’s new location at 1701 Monterey St. in San Luis Obispo.

John Billings, owner of the San Luis Obispo in- and outdoor furniture store for more than 30 years, hopes to be open in the former Cuesta Cadillac car dealership by early spring, he said.

“It’s a dream location for me — four times the outside area and one central building rather than three buildings — and it has great visibility,” Billings said.

The rent is also a little less, and there are 37 parking places, he added.

When Cuesta Cadillac moved to consolidate its operations, the city wanted something that would be of interest to tourists because the spot near Grand Avenue and Cal Poly was in a hotel and restaurant district, Billings said.

“I think they got what they wanted,” he said. “We do a lot of business with people out of the area, and it’s very convenient getting on and off the freeway.”

Daylight’s current location closer to downtown, at 1235 Monterey St., will be used as a warehouse, as well as a place to sell goods on consignment or on clearance, he said.

“The move hasn’t been an easy process,” Billings said.

The biggest renovations include putting in fire sprinklers, a disabled-accessible bathroom and ramps in the 60-year-old building, which is expensive, Billings said.

The good news outweighs the hassles, he said.

“We’re growing in size and we’ve got the new consignment enterprise going,” Billings said. “We’d like to get where we were in 2007, when revenues were up 11 percent.”

After 2007, revenues declined almost 5 percent, and in 2008 it was a “bigger hit,” though Billings declined to elaborate. He would not say how much the move was going to cost him, except that “it was more than I wanted.”

— Melanie Cleveland