Follow-Up File: Retrofit nears completion on landmark

Name: Warren Sinsheimer

Job: Trustee

Property: Sinsheimer Bros. building

What he said then:

In July 2010, The Tribune reported that the historic Sinsheimer Bros. building, at 849 Monterey St. in San Luis Obispo, had begun a seismic retrofit.

The two-story structure was built in 1884 and is owned by the Sinsheimer family. Country Classics occupied the retail area from 1990 to 2008, while the upstairs consists of offices. A second building in the rear had been a warehouse.

Concrete and steel would reinforce the partly brick structure and “make sure that the occupants and passersby are not injured,” Warren Sinsheimer said. The attorney is one of two family trustees who manage the property.

Fire sprinklers were also to be added, with parking between the buildings converted into a patio.

Sinsheimer declined to disclose project costs. He thought the spaces could be ready to occupy in as few as six months.

What he says now:

Construction is coming to a close as workers put the finishing touches on downstairs retail spaces, Sinsheimer said this week.

“We will be marketing them quite shortly,” he added. “We ended up doing a little bit more in the rear building than we had planned to initially.”

The upstairs office areas also received a more extensive remodel than originally envisioned. But Sinsheimer said the project is “pretty much in budget range.”

Architect Thom Brajkovich and structural engineers from Lampman & Smith oversaw design, with execution led by Greg Moore Construction Inc. All are based in the city.

The project is also restoring decorative elements called finials on the roof, which haven’t been present since at least the 1950s, Sinsheimer said. Designers used historic photos to replicate them.

The office suites are being advertised for between $46.50 and $47.88 per square foot per year.

Upstairs and downstairs, the main building offers 4,000 square feet. The converted warehouse has another 1,400 square feet.

The elimination of parking, he said, was necessary to make the rear building more accessible to the public.

Filling them could be a challenge, Sinsheimer admitted, particularly for retail.

“There’s certainly a lot of movement away from retail and towards food service downtown right now,” he said. “This is a relatively slow time downtown for leasing spaces. I’m confident we’ll get it rented, but I can’t tell you when that will be.”

— Raven J. Railey