Pemberton brothers’ SLO project appealed
August 5, 2015
The San Luis Obispo City Council will decide whether a downtown location that formerly housed Sports Authority will become a bowling alley, restaurant and performance site for live music.
On July 29, the San Luis Obispo Planning Commission approved the project on the condition that the 24,500-square foot venue at the corner of Chorro and Marsh Streets would close at midnight, rather than 2 a.m. Two members of Save Our Downtown have since appealed the project, arguing it does not fit the character of downtown, and it would create a party place for college students.
Twin brothers Jeremy and Joshua Pemberton are the developers proposing the project. For the past six months, they have been soliciting investors to fund the project, which they say costs $5 million.
San Luis Obispo restaurant owners have questioned that amount, saying it is much more than should be needed. Restaurant owners have also raised questions over the Pemberton brothers’ history in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara city staffers reported a number of problems with the Pembertons’ 2009 Music and Arts festival. Their company, Twiin Productions, failed to pay bills to the city for increased police presence, bounced a check to the city and failed to follow permit requirements and city rules, Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Director Nancy Rapp said.
In 2011, the brothers filed bankruptcy, claiming $9,750 in assets and $1,431,201 in liabilities including unpaid wages to employees, clothing expenses, dry-cleaning bills, jewellery store debt and money owed to non-profits.