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Monterey Place mixed-use project planned for downtown SLO

Monterey Place, shown in this rendering, will be situated along the creek and adjacent to a future city parking structure at Palm and Nipomo streets in downtown San Luis Obispo.
Monterey Place, shown in this rendering, will be situated along the creek and adjacent to a future city parking structure at Palm and Nipomo streets in downtown San Luis Obispo.

Monterey Place, a mixed-use project slated for Monterey Street in downtown San Luis Obispo, is making its way through the city’s approval process.

When completed, the proposed development at 667 Monterey St., situated along San Luis Creek and adjacent to a future city parking structure at Palm and Nipomo streets, will feature 23 residential units, 11 bed-and-breakfast guest rooms, 3,800 square feet of restaurant space with patio dining, 16,400 square feet of commercial space available for lease and 3,900 square feet of residential and commercial storage.

The two-phase redevelopment is a much-needed project for that area of downtown, said Mike Hodge of Shear Edge Development. The project design includes an open-air paseo, a pedestrian link between downtown, the creek walk, Monterey Street and the adjacent future city parking structure.

Restoration and rehabilitation of the historic Leitcher Apartments, built in the 1880s and originally operated as a boarding house, is part of the project. It will become a small inn, with a new building behind it housing additional guest rooms, Hodge said.

“The nonhistoric additions to the main building will be removed, and the main structure will be placed on a new concrete foundation and relocated closer to Monterey Street,” he said.

The rest of the property is a “composition of five separate buildings connected by a series of walkways,” Hodge said. “Six different uses are intermixed that include a restaurant with creekside patio seating, a residential lobby and other retail and office uses on the ground floor.”

Banquet rooms and residential storage spaces are planned for the basement level with residential units on upper floors. “Residential amenities include a rooftop basking pool and exercise room,” Hodge said. Shear Edge is working with Arris Studio Architects of San Luis Obispo on the design.

The tallest portion of the project will be 50 feet and comprises three stories, plus the basement level, Hodge said. The building height, he added, is in compliance with a condition that was written specifically for the site. The average building setback from the creek flowline is 64 feet.

“The creekside building elevations have significant articulation that includes separated smaller buildings, building rotation for interest, decks, patios, three points of access to the buildings from the creek walk, and color and material variations,” he said.

Information on the developer’s investment was not available, Hodge said. The developer continues to work with several contractors to determine construction costs. Construction is expected to begin in early 2014 and be completed in mid-2015.

Doug Davidson, deputy director of community development, said the Cultural Heritage Committee already has reviewed the project, and the next step is architectural review. Davidson said he was not certain when the Architectural Review Commission would see the project, however. From there, it goes before the Planning Commission, and then the City Council for final approval.

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