Massive San Luis Ranch housing, commercial development ready to break ground next year


San Luis Ranch will break ground early next year, marking a milestone in the years-long approval process for the massive housing and commercial development on the south end of town.

The 131-acre project located along Madonna Road, visible from Highway 101, is slated to include 580 residential homes, 150,000 square feet of commercial space, 100,000 square feet of office space and a 200-room hotel.

The construction of single-family and multifamily homes will be phased in over several years in a six-part process, according to city planning documents.

“The partners expect to break ground in the first quarter of 2019 with the delivery of a 10-acre multifamily site, and all the commercial and hotel (slabs) in the second and third quarter of 2019,” the project’s developer and real estate investment company said in a press release announcing the groundbreaking.

The project — approved by the City Council in July 2017 and then given the go ahead after the council annexed the property into SLO’s boundaries and approved a final map in November — is a joint venture between Coastal Community Builders and San Diego-based real estate investment company, Presidio Residential Capital.

The project was initially proposed in a formal application to the city in 2015.

The developer also anticipates beginning construction on 281 single family home lots in the third quarter of 2019, the press release stated.

“San Luis Obispo desperately needs workforce housing, and this new community will address that need,” said Coastal Community Builders’ President Gary Grossman in a statement. “San Luis Ranch will offer diverse housing opportunities, parks and open space and an organic working farm where SLO locals can experience a true farm-to-table lifestyle. Our residents will have everything they need in one exceptional community.”

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A photo of the 131-acre site where San Luis Ranch will be built (about 60 acres will remain open space with the rest filled with homes, commercial and office space, a hotel and parks. Laura Dickinson ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

The project will include 34 affordable homes that are deed restricted for low- and lower-income residents and 14 workforce homes for those with moderate-level incomes, according to the city.

City officials have acknowledged that traffic could potentially get significantly worse in the area if a major city freeway overpass project isn’t built on time to handle the demand of the new residents.

The overpass is planned to connect Prado Road to Dalidio Road over Highway 101, a key infrastructure project meant to reduce traffic congestion. The overpass project is on track to begin construction in 2021 and be built by 2023, according to planners.

The homes will include solar panels and other energy efficient features, such as appliances and lighting, tankless water heaters, low-flow plumbing and “natural, edible landscaping.”

More than half of the pedestrian-oriented community will be parkland, open space and agricultural land with a working organic farm and learning center, community gardens, recreation and fitness loop and several parks and picnic areas.

San Luis Ranch also will have walking and bike lanes throughout the property, as well as electric car charging stations and bicycle parking.

To learn more about the project, the public may sign up for an interest list at www.sanluisranch.com/stay-informed/.

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Nick Wilson covers the city of San Luis Obispo and has been a reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo since 2004. He also writes regularly about K-12 education, Cal Poly, Morro Bay and Los Osos. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley and is originally from Ojai.