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Paso Robles winery owner donating park to the city

Tenover design provided by Tobin James
Posted at 5:57 AM, Nov 21, 2019

The owner of a well known Paso Robles winery is pouring out some love to his community with the donation of a park in an area of town that doesn't have a lot of green space.

"It's more of a gathering place where people can relax and enjoy the day," Tobin James, the owner of Tobin James Cellars, said.

James plans to receive public input Thursday at a Neighborhood Open House, where people are encouraged to share their vision for the space on Spring Street and 18th.

A gas station once occupied the lot but the cracked pavement has sat vacant for 20 years since the store closure, according to James.

Now that the soil on the lot has undergone remediation to have gasoline removed, James said it's ready for a face lift.

James said he was encouraged by friends to develop the space as another moneymaker.

"We have a strong clientele that comes to the winery and we could fill the hotel up, it would never have a vacancy," James said.

But James said he wants to give back to his community as a thank you for supporting his business for the past 26 years.

"It's going to really revitalize this part of Paso Robles," James said. "There's never enough parks in the world."

And with that sentiment, Paso Robles resident Ellie Matthews agrees.

"I think there could definitely be more," Matthews said.

Matthews and her son enjoyed time Wednesday morning with friends during a play date at the downtown city park. It's one of a handful of green spaces where families can relax.

"We wanted to come get out of the house and run and be active," Matthews said.

With parents like Matthews in mind, James plans to put in benches, an amphitheater and a space for food trucks.

Tenover design provided by Tobin James

"It feels good to give back," James said.

The Neighborhood Open House is planned for 3 p.m. Wednesday at the park site.