Follow-Up File: Atascadero development going slowly

Name: John Rossetti

Role: Partner

Business: West Front Village LLC

What he said then:

In October 2009, West Front Village in Atascadero expected to break ground within two months on a 4,800-square-foot retail center.

The Tribune’s Biz Buzz reported the new retail building would contain four spaces for food services.

The project on Santa Rosa Street is co-owned by John Rossetti. Set on 13 acres west of Highway 101 in Atascadero, it already had an 80-room Holiday Inn Express and Suites, open since July 2008 and a Jack in the Box, which opened in summer 2009.

A sit-down restaurant, a business park and a housing subdivision with 32 home sites — homes and 18 duplex residences — were also part of the plans approved by the city. Rossetti was negotiating with a prospective tenant for the business park.

What he says now:

With both lending and leasing challenges, Rossetti and his partners decided to postpone construction until the economic climate improved.

“The time was not right to approach the lenders and we were not convinced the time was right for leasing,” said Rossetti, who now is seeking a loan and hopes to start construction in the spring.

“We’re much more optimistic than we were in 2009, but we still want to be cautious,” he said. “It’s not as good as three years ago, but it is getting back on track.”

Construction will cost about $1 million, estimated Rossetti, who also owns Rossetti Co. in San Luis Obispo.

The commercial real estate broker and property manager for shopping centers, Rossetti Co. is negotiating with several prospective tenants for spaces in the “food court” building, including local businesses and small regional chains.

“I suspect we will have at least one national chain,” Rossetti said. “Everyone wanted to see how the Jack in the Box was going to do. It’s done really well.”

Peabody & Plum is overseeing sales for the 32 single-family homes in West Front Village. Construction has started on the first five. Once they are finished and sold, another set will be built.

Only three duplexes remain from the original plan, while 14 will be “courtyard-style” homes arranged around cul-de-sacs. Rossetti said the homes will range in price from the low $300,000s to about $325,000.

Plans for the sit-down restaurant and business park both remain on hold.

“We’re moving forward in cautious, slower steps,” he said. “We don’t want to bite off more than we can chew.”

— Raven J. Railey

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