Fresh & Easy market coming to San Luis Obispo

A Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is the planned anchor tenant at the Village at Broad, a mix of homes and commercial development on the east side of Broad Street between Santa Barbara and Alphonso streets in San Luis Obispo.

The chain grocery store, owned by the United Kingdom-based company Tesco, promotes itself as a neighborhood market that offers fresh and high-quality prepared foods along with standard grocery products.

The store also bills itself as environmentally friendly and claims to use 30 percent less energy than a typical grocery store.

The chain has 103 stores in California and Nevada. The closest one to San Luis Obispo is in Orcutt.

The 10,000-square-foot store is expected to break ground in January and will take about six months to build, co-developer Jim Halferty said.

Halferty of Pasadena and Dick DeBeikes of Irvine are developing the 6-acre project between Fire Station No. 1 to the north and Rabobank to the south.

They intended to sell the property in 2008 for $7.5 million to Woodland Hills developer Rick Moses, but that deal did not happen because of the recession, Halferty said.

Halferty said he and DeBeikes are committed to the retail portion and will seek a buyer to develop the residences in the future.

The project covers two parcels, which will include an additional 8,000 square feet of retail and more than 20 apartments.

A third 3-acre parcel at the rear of the site was sold to the ROEM Corp. of San Jose to build below-market-price housing last year. That project, called the Village at Broad Street Family Apartments, will include more than 42 apartments, according to the company’s website.

At its meeting Monday, the city’s Architectural Review Commission will discuss various changes to the commercial portion of the project since its original approval in 2008.

The changes include reducing the previously approved four commercial buildings to the three planned and reducing the number of apartments proposed for the two-story commercial space from four to two. The design of the Fresh & Easy store will also be discussed.

— AnnMarie Cornejo

SLO firm picked for U.S. health program

Local IT security testing company InfoGard has been approved by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to certify electronic health records.

The San Luis Obispo firm is one of only three U.S. companies to win early approval. The move allows the firm to review medical records systems to determine what security measures are in place.

The company says its new security service addresses growing concerns in the IT industry about health care information breaches.

— Tribune staff report

Physicians Ross G. Michel and Leslie B. Michel recently joined two San Luis Obispo practices.

Ross Michel joined Central Coast Chest Consultants, where he specializes in pulmonary diseases.

Leslie Michel joined San Luis Internal Medicine Associates, where she specializes in comprehensive adult medicine, including preventive care and women’s health.

Both attended Virginia Commonwealth University and completed residencies at University of Oklahoma.

— Julia Hickey