Biz Buzz: Plans for Walmart and The Annex center moves forward

rendering of The Annex, Atascadero
Courtesy of Omni Design Group.
rendering of The Annex, Atascadero Courtesy of Omni Design Group. 04-14-10

The Rottman Group has submitted a third version of its plan for The Annex shopping center to Atascadero — further moving along plans for the adjacent Walmart Supercenter on the north side of town.

Last week, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. submitted a smaller-scale version of its longtime proposal for the lot at Del Rio Road and El Camino Real, proposing a 123,112-square-foot retail and grocery building with a pharmacy and a 6,448-square-foot outdoor garden center.

The applicants on the shopping center and Wal-Mart projects are separate, but will go in together on a joint specific plan that consultants will use to determine the environmental impacts that the developments could have on roads, noise and city services.

If all goes smoothly, officials said, construction could begin on both in a year and a half.

The Annex calls for eight commercial buildings on 13 acres, totaling a new and slightly larger commercial footprint of 120,900 square feet.

The former submission called for the same number of commercial buildings on 114,574 square feet.

“We’re still proposing the same zoning,” applicant Robert Winslow said. “We just reworked the site plan to make it more efficient in the space we have and reworked the architecture.”

The lots will bring in room for retail, office, eateries and drive-through businesses with an additional 1.7 acres of future residential development.

Specifics on tenant negotiations, including whether any have been signed, have not been disclosed.

The design will still be Spanish-revival style with earth-tone colors on the buildings and drought-tolerant plants. Towers and “other visually interesting monuments, as high as 30 to 45 feet,” are also planned, Winslow said. Further architectural elements include awnings, arches, sunshades and vertical landscaping lattices.

Earlier this year, the roles of certain planners were also switched up.

Winslow is no longer working as project manager for EDA Design Professionals, which had handled the civil engineering and planning for the Annex. He switched careers to become director of engineering with the San Luis Obispo-based Omni Design Group in February. The Rottman Group is still working with him at Omni, which now handles all of the architecture and engineering aspects of The Annex. Wal-Mart is still a client with EDA, Winslow said.

A joint City Council and Planning Commission scoping meeting for Walmart and The Annex is planned for May 25.

— Tonya Strickland

Architects group installs new board

The American Institute of Architects California Central Coast, a chapter of professional architects and affiliates, has installed its 2010-11 board.

William Tuculet is the board’s president, and Heidi Gibson is the board’s new vice president.

Jeff Emrick is treasurer; Laura Gough is secretary. Kristine Walters will be in charge of membership; Randy Dettmer is in charge of legislation; Thomas Jones is in charge of education; and Jeff Dillon overseeing public relations.

Also joining the board is Thomas Esser, Tony Westbrook, Sarah Flemming and Lauren Luker.

The group has more than 120 members in San Luis Obispo County and is involved with the Design Awards, scholarships and continuing education opportunities.

— Amy Dempsey