Developer submits new plans for office, condo project in downtown SLO

The proposed Pacific Courtyards project as seen from Osos Street.
The proposed Pacific Courtyards project as seen from Osos Street.

Developer Hamish Marshall has submitted a revised proposal for a mixed use project located between Osos and Morro streets on an existing parking lot in downtown San Luis Obispo.

Marshall wants to build nine condominiums and about 8,000 square feet of office space. The offices would face Osos Street and the homes would be built toward Morro Street. The proposal calls for removing all trees except those on Osos Street.

The project, called Pacific Courtyards, was approved by the city in 2008, but the economic downturn stalled development.

The project has changed significantly since then and now requires new approvals by the city.

One major change is the elimination of a proposed subterranean parking lot. Parking would now be on the ground level, with the office space built above it, said Carol Florence, project planner with Oasis Associates, a San Luis Obispo planning firm.

The project site is in the middle of the block diagonally across from the city’s parking structure on Morro Street, and facing Grace Church on Osos Street. It is bordered by a medical complex and a white English Craftsman-type church, built in 1907, now occupied by the Seventh-Day Adventists. The church is considered a historic resource.

Marshall bought the lot with several other partners as an investment in 2005 for an undisclosed amount.

Eight of the proposed condominiums would range from 1,150 square feet to 1,350 square feet. One home would be a 450-square-foot studio.

Marshall and other partners originally proposed a neo-Victorian design for Pacific Courtyards but since changed the proposed architecture to a flat-roofed contemporary.

The city’s Cultural Heritage Committee recommended denying the project, saying the contemporary design clashes with nearby buildings and is inconsistent with the city’s historic preservation guidelines.

The project will go before the city’s Architectural Review Commission on Dec. 16 for a conceptual review.

Florence said she will present revised plans at that meeting that incorporate some of the suggestions voiced by the Cultural Heritage Committee. Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.