3 major developments in the works in North County

Walmart is expected to break ground on the lot in the background, at the southeast corner of the intersection of El Camino Real and Del Rio Road in Atascadero.
Walmart is expected to break ground on the lot in the background, at the southeast corner of the intersection of El Camino Real and Del Rio Road in Atascadero.

Three major projects underway will continue to offer more shopping for North County residents. Here’s a close look at the status of each:

Walmart in Atascadero

This is the vacant lot where Walmart is expected to break ground in Atascadero. Joe Johnston -

The Atascadero Walmart may finally break ground this fall, following nearly a decadelong approval process often fraught with controversy.

Initial improvements would include work at the intersection of Del Rio Road and El Camino Real, work on the frontage of the project site and grading at the site itself. Road improvements near the project site also could be included. Both on- and off-site improvement plans are under review, and they are valued at about $5 million, Atascadero Deputy City Manager Terrie Banish said.

The new Walmart store will be approximately 127,034 square feet and will include a grocery section, general merchandise, a pharmacy and an outdoor garden center. Spaces within the building could include a fast food restaurant, vision center and quick-service bank. The store is expected to employ 250 people and generate an estimated $580,000 in sales tax revenues annually.

There is no projected opening date for the store.

Pine Street Promenade in Paso Robles

This site, at Pine and Ninth streets, is where the Pine Street Promenade will be built. It is the location of the former Hayward Lumber yard in Paso Robles. Joe Johnston -

After a one-year hiatus, phase one of Pine Street Promenade is moving forward.

The project is slated for a 2.4-acre lot at Pine and Ninth Streets in Paso Robles, the former site of the Hayward Lumber yard. The first phase will include retail spaces. A second phase will add a 100- to 120-room hotel. The project plans, which originally included a public market, parking structure and performing arts center, have undergone changes; details aren’t yet available.

Owners Debbie Lorenz and Brett Van Steenwyk are working with architect Steven Puglisi and civil engineer Mike Hodge. According to Lorenz, the team is consulting with Florida architecture and interior design firm, Moore 2 Design, to “refine operational flow” and will be moving into the engineering phase over the next few months. They will also be obtaining revised bids from local general contractors for the revamped project.

The owners plan to seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which is awarded to structures built in an environmentally friendly manner.

Although there are no projected dates for breaking ground or completing this phase of the project, Lorenz said, “We are moving forward at a good pace.”

Golden Hills/Lowe’s Center in Paso Robles

Lowe’s Home Improvement is the anchor tenant at the Golden Hills Plaza in Paso Robles. Joe Johnston -

Three new in-fill commercial projects have been proposed for Golden Hills Plaza at the corner of Highway 46 east and Golden Hill Road in Paso Robles: fast-food restaurant Sonic, a national chain coffee shop and a new freestanding building for Christian’s Mattress Xpress. The mattress and coffee shops are in the building permit plan check process. The planning commission is waiting for additional information in order to process the Sonic application.

Golden Hills Plaza opened in 2009 and is owned by Regency Centers, based in Jacksonville, Florida. The 251,084-square-foot center is anchored by Lowe’s Home Improvement. Among its current tenants are Bed Bath & Beyond, TJ Maxx and locally owned restaurant and home goods store, Dolce Galleria.