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New hotel and performing arts theater approved for downtown 

Pine Street Promenade gets the OK from planning commission

On Tuesday, the Paso Robles City Planning Commission unanimously approved the Pine Street Promenade, a two-phase project that includes a hotel, restaurant, conference center, public marketplace, performing arts theater and parking garage.

Located at 944 Pine Street, the project will aim for the highest level of LEED certification, reducing water and energy consumption, the developers said in a press release.. The all-encompassing presentation for the project was met with the complete support of all commissioners and public speakers with a packed audience of project and community leaders.

Local developers and owners Brett Van Steenwyk and Debbie Lorenz shared their vision of the project in downtown Paso Robles to create a walkable, campus style destination which complements the existing historical charm of the downtown city center and supports and promotes local businesses.

For two decades, lead architect and designer, Steve Puglisi of Puglisi Architecture has contributed to the rich architectural character of the Central Coast. Puglisi and his team presented his design for the Pine Street Promenade and Paso Center for the Performing Arts which included a fly through of the completed project which dazzled the audience, planning commissioners and city staff.

Phase One of the project includes a 106 room 4.5 or 5 star hotel, 600 person conference center, a 22,000 square foot public market inspired by Napa’s downtown Oxbow Market and an upscale restaurant boosting a wine cellar and banquet room. The project provides ample parking and exceeds the city’s requirements with a combination of basement valet and surface parking. A Plaza building will provide space for commercial and office use and potentially more hotel rooms.

Phase Two delivers a much anticipated and desired 500- seat Performing Arts Theater and a 5-level public parking structure.

“Great projects begin with great clients,” says Puglisi. “Brett and Debbie are true philanthropists and are giving the greatest gift to the city of Paso Robles through their tireless efforts to create an environmentally consciousness building that complement the architectural landscape of the downtown while being sensitive and responsible towards the city’s concerns about water, parking and energy efficiency.”

The project’s LEED consultant, In Balance Green Design’s, Jennifer Rennick, addressed water usage and conservation strategies that include water conservation fixtures, efficient landscaping and irrigation and the use of gray water and a water catchment system to capture rain water. Water conservation and design strategies will reduce consumption by one third to a half, a savings 1.3 to 2 million gallons of water per year.

Pine Street Promenade is on target for attaining LEED certification, which recognizes building construction projects that utilize extraordinary environmentally-friendly and energy efficient building practices. “Conservation and preservation are at the core of this project”, says Lorenz, “we are saving water in our business practices and landscaping plans, with permeable landscaping surfaces while preserving the heritage oak trees on the property.”

Initially when Van Steenwyk and Lorenz were looking at 944 Pine Street, they were thinking of ways to alleviate the congested parking in downtown Paso Robles. Van Steenwyk, a longtime resident of Paso and owner of three downtown commercial buildings, is sensitive to lack of parking for its downtown businesses and residents. Phase One of the project will provide surface parking spaces for public use and valet parking for its hotel and restaurant guests. Phase Two will significantly address the lack of downtown parking when the 5-level public parking structure is built with 224 spaces.

Casey Biggs, Executive Director of the Paso Robles Center for Performing Arts and celebrated American actor and director who is the new face of wine as the Paso Robles Wine Man, presented his vision for the Paso Robles Center. The Paso Robles Center is dedicated to sculpting the cultural landscape of Paso Robles and creating a conscious and compassionate community through the art of dance, music, performances, and theater in a year round season of the highest quality artistic, cultural, educational, and entertainment experiences.

“We are fortunate enough to look the future in the face and actually see it looking back at us. Culture is a necessity not a luxury,” says Biggs. “what is driving me at the moment is the intrinsic impact the arts make on and to a community.”

The Planning Commission concludes the Pine Street Promenade project would develop an area downtown that is currently under-developed. The project would meet the intent of the Uptown/Town Center Specific Plan, as well as the General Plan and Economic Strategy, since it would provide for infill development that is pedestrian-oriented, provide jobs, use resources efficiently, and will help support the local tourism industry.

For more information on this project please visit the websites at PineStreetPromenade.com.

Pine Street Promenade

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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.