Biz Buzz: Grading under way at site of future SLO Target

The site where San Luis Obispo’s Target store will open for business next year is being prepared for construction.

Grading started about three weeks ago off Los Osos Valley Road across from Irish Hills Plaza, said Clint Pearce, spokesman for Madonna Enterprises, developer of the project.

“It’s going well,” Pearce said of the grading. “But we will have a lot of foundation work to do, and we’re going to be doing that for a good part of the summer.”

Building could begin as early as this summer, although Pearce said “there are a lot of unknowns with the soils work we’re doing.” That could delay construction until the fall, he said.

Target hopes to open the 140,000-square-foot store in July 2011, if not earlier, Pearce said.

Meanwhile, the Old Navy store at Irish Hills Plaza has completed an extensive, $1 million makeover.

Manager Natalie Wright said the company has decided to “take Old Navy in a totally different direction,” giving it a modern and more open look and San Luis Obispo was one of the stores chosen for the remodel.

The store also has lowered the clothing in the children’s area, making it easier for them to reach, and has added an interactive gaming section for young children to keep them entertained while parents shop, Wright said.

A grand re-opening of Old Navy, which opened in 2007, is set for Saturday.

— Julie Lynem

Car-sharing service has first visitor site

FunRide, a car-sharing service founded in San Luis Obispo, has established its first visitor parking location at the Quality Suites Hotel on Monterey Street in San Luis Obispo.

FunRide provides visitors with electric plug-in, natural gas, hybrid, and flex fuel vehicles to rent by the hour, which guests at any hotel along Monterey Street can access using an electronic key.

FunRide is hoping to expand service to all hotel clusters in San Luis Obispo County in the next year.

— Julia Hickey

Empowering Financial Solutions, Inc., a fee-only financial and investment advisory firm, has moved from 867 Pacific Street to 3591 Sacramento Drive, No. 120 at the Broad Street Village in San Luis Obispo.

President Joan L. Parker established the firm in 2008 after leaving R. E. Wacker Associates, Inc., where she was director of financial planning services from 1995 to 2007.

— Julia Hickey