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New ‘Paso Market Place’ proposed for historic Spring Street property 

The Van Wormer house at 1806 Spring Street.

Historic Van Wormer house may be refurbished as a restaurant

–The historic Van Wormer house at 1803 Spring St. may be sharing its location with some new businesses and residents. A proposed 15,669-square-foot development between 18th and 19th streets for “Paso Market Place” includes upgrades to the historic house and adding residences, shops, restaurants, a 1,150 square foot outdoor patio area, a children’s play area, bike racks, pathways and parking. The vision for the property is similar to the iconic Oxbow Public Market in Napa Valley.

The second stories of two buildings will include six apartments. At its May 23 meeting, the Paso Robles Planning Commission recommended the proposed development project to the Paso Robles City Council for consideration.

The property was the long-time home of Hometown Nursery.

The new project proposes to rehabilitate deteriorated exterior of the historic building in keeping with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and to re-purpose the building as a restaurant. A breezeway is proposed to connect this structure on the west side of the building to a separate kitchen building designed to complement the historic theme and integrity of the historic building.

The new buildings will integrate a rural, agrarian design to complement the existing historic farmhouse. Agrarian themes are consistent with the architectural type of then. An architectural drawing of the project identifies the buildings and their proposed uses as follows:

  • A-The renovated Van Wormer house as a restaurant and kitchen
  • B-Retail space and residences
  • C-Retail space
  • D-Market
  • E-Distillery and residences

Architectural drawing of proposed buildings. View from Spring Street.

J.H. Van Wormer, one of two pioneering almond growers in Paso Robles, built the house in 1890. The property has been vacant since 2008 when the Hometown Nursery moved to a new location. Richardson Properties lists the sale of the $1.85 million property as pending. Deborah Longo of Montecito Choice LLC is the applicant listed on the Planning Department staff report. Longo was a previous co-owner of Justin Vineyards and Winery.

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

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