Name: Byron Davis
Project: Prado Park in San Luis Obispo
,b>What he said then:
In January 2010, ex-dentist and developer Byron Davis was expecting final approval from the city of San Luis Obispo on his first commercial development.
Prado Park got approval from the Architectural Review Commission in February as a 20-acre, seven-building commercial complex at 400 Prado Road, close to Higuera Street.
It was the first project in the Margarita and Airport Specific Plan to go forward after that area was annexed into the city in 2008. Preliminary plans had been approved in late 2007.
Last winter, Davis was planning to construct the first two office buildings as soon as he had commitments from potential tenants.
What he says now:
Davis is still waiting.
“I have it listed with a broker,” he said. “We’re looking for leasing options. We worked for several months with one potential tenant and it didn’t work out.
“We’re at a standstill until we have a tenant,” he added. “I don’t think anybody would dare build on speculation in this market.”
Space for offices or light industrial could be ready for move-in 16 months from the date of a signed contract, Davis said. That’s assuming the tenant would have a bank’s approval.
“Everybody’s more tentative about making an investment in a new location,” he said. “The other big hurdle right now is banking.”
Davis has been involved in housing developments — apartments and houses — from Paso Robles to Santa Maria.
Prado Park is just one in a group of county projects approved over the past few years that remain on hold in a “wait-and-see” market.
In most cases, owners have been patient, plans in hand, hoping for tenant commitments.
And they wait.
Like the others, Davis sounds upbeat about the long-term prospects. There’s interest, he says, from growing local businesses.
The space is listed with Martin Indvik of Lee & Associates.
Over the past year, Davis has heard from technology and medical companies that are expanding. But so far, they’ve been cautious about committing to more real estate until they have a better sense of the future.
“There are businesses that are busting at the seams to move, but they’re not quite ready to pull the trigger,” the developer said. “One benefit we have is that there’s not a lot available, at least in new construction.
Hopefully one new building and tenant will spark another.”
— Raven J. Railey