Paso Robles News|Tuesday, October 24, 2017
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New 151-room ‘Hotel Ava’ approved 

The new Hotel Ava at 944 Pine Street

Project was approved in 2014 but delayed by owners to upgrade the design

–After four years in planning, the Pine Street Promenade project at 944 Pine Street is set to break ground in April or May 2018, said property owner Debbie Lorenz. The Paso Robles Planning Commission approved the project at the most recent meeting. The original project, which included a performing arts center, had been approved by the commission in August 2014. Lorenz said the project was delayed because Lorenz and partner, Brett VanSteenwyck, decided to change the original Tuscan architecture. “We though there were too many Tuscan hotels in the area and we want to find something that fit in with the Paso Robles downtown area.”

The approved four-story project reduces the overall square footage from the originally approved 189,331 square feet to approximately 105,195 square feet and eliminates the performance center, a parking structure and condominiums that were in the original plan. The revised project is a 151-room hotel, with a restaurant and retail uses.

The performing arts center idea was dropped because, “We were just donating the property to Paso Center for the Performing Arts. I think they are looking for a different place.”

The new Hotel Ava will occupy the property at the southeast corner of 10th Street and Pine Street, previously Hayward Lumber. The hotel owners, Lorenz and VanSteenwyck have owned the property since 2013.

The city staff report describes the project as “an innovative infill and reuse project that would develop an underutilized area next to the downtown core. The project will provide an anchor on the south end of downtown and provide a pedestrian oriented connection between the Transportation Center and Downtown.”

Lorenz said, “I am excited to be moving forward. This has been a long time coming, over four years.” Lorenz said she expects the hotel to open about 18 months after breaking ground next spring. Darren Nash, Associate Planner with the City of Paso Robles said the project still has to complete the building permit process.

“The name Ava is a tribute to our agricultural and industrial roots, with the letters A-V-A as a nod to our region’s American Viticulture Area,” said Lorenz in a written statement. “We want to create a place that embodies the spirit of Paso Robles: inclusive, approachable and authentic; a place where both locals and visitors alike can connect and have a memorable experience.”

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.

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