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Arroyo Grande will decide on new business in old Kmart building

Posted at 10:21 PM, Aug 30, 2018

Several big development projects on the horizon for Arroyo Grande including a decision set for next week on a business proposal for the former Kmart building on West Branch Street.

It was one of 64 closures the company announced during the spring and the decision left a 82,000 square foot building in a high traffic area empty.

"It is of great concern to have prime retail space vacant, sitting there unused, no sales tax," said Teresa McClish, director of the Community Development Department for Arroyo Grande. "It’s poor for the rest of the commercial center, and so we’re very pleased that we have activity in the building."

The project proposes three uses for the building including a 24-hour fitness facility, a new grocery store, and 50,000 square feet in retail space.

The Planning Commission will discuss it on Tuesday. If approved, it would immediately move forward as it does not need City Council approval.

"Big things that have happened in the city are commercial centers, are very big for the town," McClish said. "They enable us to generate taxes and commercial commerce so we can enjoy the small town charm of the city."

And there are more big dreams this small town wants to accomplish.

"East Grand Avenue is the next big thing, so we’re working on the East Grand Avenue master plan hoping that will enable us to intensify commercial uses on that corridor."

Meanwhile, another proposed project for arroyo grande would add housing and a coffee shop. The two-story building would be built next to the Community Hospital and Harloe Elementary school.

Developers propose 22 residential units and a 500-square foot neighborhood coffee shop.

The city is taking comments on the project. A public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 18 at 6 p.m.