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'State of Downtown' report breaks down progress and plans for Downtown SLO

Posted at 7:14 PM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 23:42:04-04

Downtown San Luis Obispo is changing and not just at the surface level.

On Tuesday, city leaders and the Downtown SLO organization released the annual report on the "State of Downtown."

The report summarizes everything from the July 2018 to June 2019 fiscal year.

Downtown SLO says since July 1, 32 new businesses have opened, with 21 of those being locally owned.

Bettina Swigger, Downtown SLO CEO, says the city has also pledged $40 million to continue improvements downtown that include building a new parking structure off Palm and Nipomo streets.

"$40 million over two years does represent a large chunk of change, so we'll being some increased sidewalk safety, some tripping hazards removed, some improvements to Mission Plaza, and we'll also be adding another ambassador to our staff," Swigger explained.

Swigger says there are also plans for more affordable housing, studio apartments and hotels in the downtown area, with Hotel Cerro opening soon off Garden Street.

Many are hoping all of the new places to stay will allow for more people to head downtown.

When it comes to downtown events, the association says between 4,000 to 7,000 people have been coming to the Farmers' Market each week and 10,000 stopped by Santa's House last year in Mission Plaza.