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Arroyo Grande City Council wants new proposal for Centennial Square project

The Arroyo Grande City Council has asked city staff to come up with a plan to keep Short Street partially open while still creating some type of pedestrian plaza in the heart of the city's historic Village.

“It wouldn’t be the same concept we came up with” for Centennial Square, said City Manager Steve Adams.

The city had proposed turning part of Short Street into a pedestrian square called Centennial Plaza. San Luis Obispo-based NKT Commercial would give the city the office building at Mason and Branch streets in exchange for the Conrad House, the 1950s-era city Building Department office known as the “malt shop” and the parking lot between the buildings.

That building at 200 East Branch St. would be demolished, and a 5,700-square-foot commercial building would be constructed in its place.

The plan was meant to improve city facilities, create new commercial property and build a pedestrian plaza in the Village.

However, some residents opposed the plan to close Short Street.

After more than two hours of public comment at the council meeting Tuesday night, with about half the speakers in favor of the project and half against, council members directed staff to come up with an alternative that would keep Short Street open, but would make it a one-way street from East Branch to Olohan Alley.

Developer Nick Tompkins of NKT Commercial expressed willingness to sit down and work something out, Adams said.

The council asked city staff to come back with a new proposal at the next council meeting.

-Cynthia Lambert

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