Morro Bay city planners eye new hotels for downtown area

Posted at 5:49 PM, Aug 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-20 20:49:50-04

New developments may soon be in the works in Morro Bay, including what could be the city’s first new hotel in decades.

There are a few vacant buildings on Embarcadero Road, and that’s taken a toll on some nearby businesses.

"The property fell into despair… and my business was gravely affected," said Cherise Hansson, who currently co-owns the property at 833 Embarcadero with Travis Leage.

What used to be a restaurant called "Off the Hook" is now gutted and vacant.

Leage and Hansson hope to demolish the current building and replace it with a mixed retail space with a casual restaurant and a boutique hotel.

"Retail does well on the street side, restaurants do well on the water side and a boutique hotel on the waterfront is kind of a no-brainer," Leage said.

Across the street, near Centennial Park, there’s another vacant building at 781 Market Avenue.

City Manager Scott Collins says they’d like to see a mixed-use facility there, including a hotel.

"But not just any hotel, one that fits within the character of that area and one where we’re working with a developer to create a new park, a new place for people to recreate, a place for people to hang out and potentially for events to take place," Collins added.

Nearby business owners like the idea of some revitalization, as long as the charming character of Morro Bay is preserved.

"It’d be exciting on my fronts. It’d be an opportunity to bring in new life into the area, revamp the downtown and make it look a little more clean and nice. I think it would be quite lovely for everybody," said Dane Jacobs, owner of Lost Isle Adventures.

The boutique hotel project at 833 Embarcadero still needs to go through the city council for final approval.

Morro Bay city planners are working with a broker to see what idea developers across the region may have for their property.