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See how much downtown SLO has changed in these before and after images

Downtown San Luis Obispo has undergone significant changes over the last 10 years.
Downtown San Luis Obispo has undergone significant changes over the last 10 years. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

It’s easy with the constant ebb and flow of businesses in and out of San Luis Obispo’s downtown to forget what the area once looked like.

Thanks to Google Street View, though, we can relive it for you right here: Check out what SLO’s downtown looked like when Street View premiered in 2007, plus a glimpse at how it looks now.

Bye-bye, Sports Authority

In 2007, the sprawling Sports Authority crossing two blocks along Chorro Street was brand new — it had just opened in what used to be Copeland Sports, a local sports department store that filed bankruptcy in 2006 after 35 years of business.

But the red awning-bedecked store moved from downtown in 2012, leaving two massive spaces vacant. Shoe Palace has since moved into the building at the corner of Marsh and Chorro under the parking garage, and pieces of the larger store along Higuera have slowly been picked off and developed mostly into restaurants like Chipotle and Plutos.

But a large segment next to California Pizza Kitchen was vacant until recently, with plans to add a bowling alley and entertainment center sometime this year.

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The building at 1144 Chorro St. in San Luis Obispo, where a planned entertainment center was scratched. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Chomps on Chorro

Once home to mostly small boutique shops, Chorro Street between Higuera and Monterey streets has slowly been adding more and more food options in recent years, including chains Which Which and Wing Stop, and locally owned restaurants like Barrelhouse Brewing, El Matador and Bowl’d.

Some of the buildings in this area were recently put on the market however, so more changes could be on the way.

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Properties downtown that house The Network, Barrel House, Avanti and more will soon go on the market as part of an estate sale. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Chinatown shopping

The stretch of Monterey Street between Chorro and Morro streets has been under development since around 2009, as part of Copeland Properties’ Chinatown project.

The project, which aimed to revitalize the largely vacant and parking-lot dominated bit of downtown, has since brought in major national retailers such as H&M, MAC and Williams-Sonoma, as well as a mix of smaller shops and food spots like Francesca’s and Thomas Hill Organics.

More changes are still on the way for this area, as plans move forward for an 80-room hotel off Palm Street.

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Employees at H&M celebrated the grand opening of the Chinatown project business on Monterey Street, Downtown San Luis Obispo. David Middlecamp dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Higuera haunts

Along the southern drag of Higuera Street, numerous stores have come and gone in the past 10 years: Decades, Crazy Jay’s, Jim’s Campus Camera, Kwirkworld — the list goes on and on.

But the southern end of the street has also been home to some notable relocation of existing businesses, namely the Cal Poly Downtown store and SLO Brew.

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Cal Poly opened a new store soon in the Maino Building at the corner of Garden and Higuera streets. David Middlecamp dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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