PASO ROBLES —Deborah Longo had a vision for a gathering place in Paso Robles where visitors could get great wine and food.
From that vision was born the Paso Market Walk. Longo with about 50 people in attendance watched as she broke ground on the mixed-use project Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 4.
Work is currently underway on the 16,000-square-foot marketplace located on the site of the old Hometown Nursery at 1803 Spring St., just north of Paso’s downtown.
Longo, standing in front of dirt moving construction equipment, thanked her team, her husband, the City of Paso Robles and the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce during the ceremonial groundbreaking.
Longo, who is the developer of the project, said the design by Project M Plus of the public market was “urban-country,” something that spoke to Paso Robles, “but also gave a little bit of kick to it.”
The contractor is JW Design and Construction. Five separate buildings will make up the property, which will be connected with breezeways.
Longo is no stranger to Paso Robles. She is the former co-owner of Justin Vineyards and Winery. According to published reports, she paid about $1.7 million for the property and began planning Paso Market Walk last year. The project was approved by the Paso Robles City Council in August and is slated to open in July 2019.
Two restaurants will bookend the development with one to be located in the historic house built by almond grower J.H. Van Wormer in 1890.
Longo introduced seven businesses that have already signed on to the project — Just Baked Cake Studio and Bakery; Montello Tasting Room; Stafford’s Chocolates; The Vreamery, a vegan cheese maker; Hog Canyon Brewing Co. and Momotaro Ramen.
“I want to thank specifically the tenants that have already committed to us,” Longo said, “without anything but dirt here.”
Assistant property manager Jill Alexander is working to secure tenants for the restaurants and the rest of the property that will also feature The Lofts at the Paso Market Walk, two 2-bedroom and four 1-bedroom short stay suites.
“Let’s get this thing built,” Longo said as she dug the gold shovel into the dirt.