High-density development planned in place of bowling alley project

June 29, 2018

In the aftermath of an aborted entertainment venue project involving a pair of controversial developers, a prominent local development firm and an international real estate company have a new proposal for the downtown San Luis Obispo site: a mixed-use high density housing development. [Cal Coast Times]

The new project proposal calls for a 75-foot high building at the corner of Marsh and Chorro streets that would include a total of 55 apartment units. The proposal has emerged as city officials are okaying large developments downtown and around San Luis Obispo, causing many residents to grumble about blocked views and overdevelopment.

San Luis Obispo oficials had approved a combination bowling alley, restaurant and music venue project on the corner of Marsh and Chorro. The project was recently scrapped after Jeremy and Joshua Pemberton allegedly failed to pay rent to Jamestown SLO Premier Retail LP, a subsidiary of the international real estate firm Jamestown.

Jamestown Premier owns the downtown SLO property on which the Pemberton brothers were planning on building their entertainment venue. The Pemberton brothers have a history of alleged fraud, bankruptcy and unpaid bills and wages. Jamestown Premier sued the Pemberton brothers’ San Luis Obispo development firm last year alleging at least $750,000 in unpaid rent, and the two sides are now in the process of reaching a settlement.

On Tuesday, Jamestown Premier, in conjunction with Copeland Properties, submitted an application to build a 75-foot high mixed-used development at the downtown SLO site. The proposal calls for retail space on the ground floor, office space on the second and third floors and apartment units on the fourth, fifth and sixth floors.

The city has a 50-foot limit in the downtown commercial zone, but the planning commission can award permission for a building to be as high as 75 feet if it meets at least two of the city’s policy objectives, which include affordable and workforce housing, historic preservation, pedestrian amenities and energy efficiency. The developers say their project would meet the requirements of workforce housing and historic preservation.

Community Development Director Michael Codron said the project would qualify for the workforce housing requirement if 5 percent of its units were designated for low-income housing or 10 percent for moderate income housing under deed restrictions that base affordability on income levels. In order to meet the historic preservation requirement, the developer would have to fund the conservation of a significant historic structure in the city.

The project applicants are likewise requesting to build at a rate of density that is 30 percent higher than what the city typically allows. Codron said city officials will have to review the application to determine if they can offer an exemption from the density rule.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Note the fake affordable housing business. They get to do this to downtown by providing 2.5 affordable units, then collect megarent from the other 52.5 units. What a scam. The city should be ashamed of itself, but Harmon will trumpet this as more wonderful “affordable housing,” just wait and see.

Next will be the Fire Department will need a new fire station so that they have a place to house a new hook and ladder truck that will be required to protect these buildings. They are almost as bad as the developers in securing things from the politicians and usually as successful.

SLO will someday become a place where nobody will want to live. No parking, no new roads where large complexes are being built. It will be a disaster in probably 50 years.

You mean 5 years, right?

Hmmm. No parking space? More downtown traffic. More people crowding. Longer lines for food, entertainment, etc.

And why is this a good idea? Who benefits? Some developers get rich and the general population gets screwed?

Where are these people supposed to park? There isn’t any parking allocated for these spaces.

Love it. Build up the downtown.

Too bad about SLO town. Too much ego and not enough sound ideas. The new tall structures quickly going up on Foothill & Chorro, Marsh, Higuera, Broad, and Palm, are disappointing (to put it mildly).

Who are the money makers?


More CalPoly dorms.

A little $$$$$ and Mayor Harmon will be one of their biggest supporters