Biz Buzz: Wal-Mart submits new plan for store

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has submitted another revision of its plans for a Walmart Supercenter in Atascadero.

The retailer now proposes a 123,112-square-foot retail and grocery building, including a pharmacy, although it will no longer be a drive-through, and a 6,448-square-foot outdoor garden center, which was not in the “last go-round,” City Manager Wade McKinney said.

A tire and lube express will no longer be part of the project, McKinney added. Plans for the adjacent Annex Shopping Center proposed by The Rottman Group were not submitted.

Wal-Mart’s previous revision in December called for a 117,770-square-foot store, about 40,000 square feet smaller than a plan discussed in January 2009.

“It’s been around that size now for a few months,’’ McKinney said. “They’ve been reconfiguring internally their standard stores. The 117,000-square-foot revision was in and out in a week, so we really didn’t move on that project.”

City officials are confident that this is Wal-Mart’s final submission, McKinney said.

“This is what we are going to take to the EIR (environmental impact report) process, and on to the Planning Commission and City Council.”

Officials hope to have the first joint planning commission and council hearing to approve the project description and consider the environmental impact in May. But it will be up to a year before the EIR is completed.

Project details and maps are available at City Hall and will be on the city’s Web site at later this week.

— Julie Lynem

Builders group presents awards

The Home Builders Association, a trade group representing about 150 home builders, subcontractors, architects, engineers, designers and other industry professionals from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, recently held its installation and awards banquet.

Awards for builder of the year were presented to Shea Homes and Barry Cunningham; associate of the year was Paul Rodriquez of Hayward Lumber Company; the government affairs award recipients were RRM Design Group and Peoples’ Self Help Housing; the lifetime director award went to Chris Skiff of Horizon Multi-Housing, LLC; and the president’s award went to Clarence Cabreros.

Officers for 2010 include president John Theisen of Midland Pacific Building Corp, first vice president Shawn Reed of Robbins Reed Inc.; secretary Clarence Cabreros of C3 Consulting Co.; and treasurer Tony Westbrook of Coastal Reprographic Services.

The 2010 Board of Directors include industry professionals Jeanne Helphenstine, Urban McLellan, Liz Moody, Greg Nester, Lisa Toke, John Campanella, Barry Cunningham, Terry Flatley, Maury Froman, Travis Fuentez, Steve Lott, Jon Luker, Maria Lyon, Ryun McRory, Michael O’Connell, Steve Scott, Chris Skiff, Laurie Tamura and Ken Trigueiro.

— Julia Hickey

DiBuduo and DeFendis insurance has hired San Luis Obispo resident Gary Sage, joining 11 agents in the company’s year-old San Luis Obispo office. Sage has worked in the industry since 1994, specializing in personal and commercial agriculture insurance. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Fresno State.

— Julia Hickey