December 2, 2022
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San Luis Obispo supervisors deny appeal over Harbor Terrace project


An appeal of a development project near Avila Beach was denied June 16.

An appeal of a development project near Avila Beach was denied June 16.

On June 16, Michael Kidd and his Concerned Citizens for Avila army rallied as hard as they could against a proposed redevelopment of 32 acres in the hills above the Port San Luis Harbor District, but couldn’t stop more than a decade of momentum behind the project.

The proposed $20 million development could include up to 58 campsites, 80 RV spaces, 31 cabins, 15 permanent campers and 16,000 square feet of hospitality and retail uses.

Kidd, who owns Joe Momma’s Coffee Shop, the Inn at Avila Beach, Avila La Fonda Hotel and Nekkid Day Spa, decried any additional water use and suggested the project’s traffic study wasn’t adequate. Project opponents also cited safety concerns and overcrowding as reasons to once again slam the brakes on the development process.

However, their efforts were in vain as the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to deny the appeal and allowed the project — known as Harbor Terrace — to move forward with a coastal development permit.

In July of last year, the Port San Luis Harbor District released a request for proposals from qualified companies interested in taking on the redevelopment.

The Port San Luis Harbor District and the California State Coastal Conservancy have formed a first-of-its-kind partnership to redevelop the property and attract a developer to what would be the latest project designed to draw more tourism to the beach community.

At the time of the RFP, officials at the Harbor District and the SCC were banking on a fast-tracked entitlement process with no upfront costs to solidify a partnership, as both groups chalked up more than $400,000 to do the heavy lifting on an Environmental Impact Report.

As sold to the Board of Supervisors, Harbor Terrace would fill in a much needed range of low-cost overnight vacation options for visitors to the area while also keeping access open to the public. It would also return a blighted and underused property to the community, according to those who spoke in favor of the project.

Record price for property

Colliers International announced it negotiated the $16.8 million sale of an Orchard Supply Hardware location in what brokerage officials are calling the highest price ever paid on a per-square-foot basis for a single-tenant, triple-net property in Ventura County. Colliers also said the price was among the highest ever paid for such a property on the same per-square-foot basis anywhere in Southern California.

Located at 1934 E. Avenida de Los Arboles in Thousand Oaks, the 43,138-square-foot building and five-acre parcel was acquired by St. Paul, Minnesota-based Oppidan Investment Company, a national property development firm. The seller was a private investment firm based in Los Angeles.

Colliers retail investment brokerage represented both parties in the transaction.

“Among the main reasons we were able to achieve this record price level was that this is a single-tenant Orchard Supply Hardware store situated in a supply-constrained market with virtually little to no competition,” said broker Christopher Maling. “Barriers to market entry are many, but, most importantly, for this particular property, the barriers include the fact that the nearest hardware and home improvement center is five miles distant.”

The sale fit into Oppidan’s portfolio, as it already counts Lowes, which owns and operates the national home improvement chain and the smaller Orchard Supply chain, as a client. When the Orchard Supply chain filed for bankruptcy, Lowes acquired most of its stores, many in California.

“That’s why this client paying a record-setting price was no surprise to us at all,” Maling said. “It received for its efforts a prized piece of property that is occupied by one of its long-term clients in an industry it knows will only benefit by the recovering California housing market. This fits neatly into its long-term investment strategy.”

Maling added that the physical location of the one-story, free-standing store was another motivating factor for Oppidan. It is sandwiched between a pair of popular grocery-anchored shopping centers that help drive customer traffic into the location and is directly adjacent to the Route 23 freeway, the main east-west highway bisecting the city and linking the southern and northern portions of Thousand Oaks with Highway 101.

• Contact Elijah Brumback at