It’s possible that the former youth correctional facility in Paso Robles won't be vacant for much longer.
That’s because a Southern California real estate company, Majestic Realty, is in contract with the State of California to purchase the 135-acre property at 4545 Airport Road. It’s just west of the Paso Robles Municipal Airport and north of Dry Creek Road.
The site closed back in 2008 after it no longer met program requirements. Now years later, barbed wire fencing and surveillance cameras surround old, rundown buildings, some with cracked windows.
“We are in the very preliminary stages of doing a site plan and design,” said Taylor Talt, Majestic Realty Senior Vice President.
About 60 structures sit on the property. The Department of Corrections says the first juvenile wards were housed there in 1947.
“The buildings in their existing condition haven't been utilized for quite some time so we will have to demolish most of them, if not all,” Talt said.
Now referred to as The Landing Paso Robles, the developer has a proposed vision for its transformation.
“We're looking to develop about 1.8 million square feet of total development across plus or minus 140 acres,” Talt explained.
The company has applied to the City of Paso Robles for entitlements to develop a commercial center including a 1.3 million square foot distribution warehouse, a 120-room hotel, and other industrial, retail, and office uses including a winery and restaurants.
In recent years, the city went through a two-year process to try and purchase the property but it didn’t pan out.
The goal, however, has been to develop it into a positive economic development.
“Obviously, that acreage sitting there for over a decade doing nothing has been costing California taxpayers a lot of money just to keep it there,” said Mayor Steve Martin.
State officials say it costs about $840,000 per year to maintain the property. The facility went up for sale to private bidders in December 2020.
Majestic Realty works with a number of Fortune 500 companies and they say they’re ready to expand to the Central Coast. Escrow is expected to close this fall.
The company tells KSBY they do not have a deal with any tenants at this point.
Majestic Realty is prepping an Environmental Impact Report at this time and is going through scoping meetings with the Planning Commission. Throughout the process, the community will be able to weigh in. The company says it hopes to wrap it up by late this year or early 2022 to then start construction.