Santa Maria Airport officials believe they're closer than ever to kicking off a major development project.The plan includes developing more than 224 acres of land near the airport with airport services, commercial use and light industrial businesses. The boundary starts on Skyway Drive by the Radisson Hotel, goes down to Betteravia Road and then to Union Valley Parkway.The plan has been talked about for decades, but airport officials believe they are close to getting final approval. It's called the Santa Maria Airport Business Park Specific Plan. It's been an idea for years, but airport General Manager Chris Hastert says he hopes it will soon be the future for this area of town. "There is a lot of different light industrial in the core of it and some commercial out towards Skyway and 135. There will be some community facilities just north of Union Valley Parkway and some commercial in the middle of it," said Hastert. Some local business owners say they get a lot of customers because of the airport. "The hotel especially. We get a lot of people," said Nichole Cullum, Evergreen Video. Cullum says what this area of town needs is retail. "Slow. It's improving, but it depends on what they are bringing in," said Cullum. Hastert says the plan isn't designed for that, but he says it is a possibility. "There has been some talk about refocusing the corner of Skyway and 135 to be more retail friendly, but right now it's not in the specific plan," said Hastert. He says this project will be a boost of growth for the city and the airport. "It helps us to maintain our lower fares here for the airlines and businesses," said Hastert.Hastert says it's a multi-year project.
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