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This post is part 1 of a 2-part property development project we were involved in near Downtown San Luis Obispo. The first phase was building a duplex behind an existing single family home; Phase 2 was remodeling that home.

Here is an overview of the site when we first started:

This property was a small single-family residence on 7,500 square foot lot in an R-3 (Multifamily) zone. Our objective for this phase of the project was to build out to allowable density, while retaining the privacy of the single family home in the front of the lot. All told, we added a 3-car garage for the use of the existing single-family home, a studio apartment, and a 2-bedroom apartment. You can see some of the finished photos here.

To retain the front home's privacy, and avoid a feeling that the residents were living on a multi-family property, we arranged the access for the duplex to be off the alley behind the property. So, the family in the front house (the brown roof) enters their home and garage from the front; the tenants in the duplex (the black roof) park and enter their apartments from the alley.

Here is the final overview of the site, after building the back duplex and remodeling the front home:

In building the duplex, we wanted to plan for potential future expansion. To do this, we included plumbing in the back of the three-car garage. With this foresight, turning the back portion of the garage into a fully functional Studio Apartment will be a a relatively simple project. And, given ew ADU regulations, this is a very real possibility for the homeowners. This snapshot from the floorplan shows our pre-planning.

We wanted the two living units to be open and welcoming rental units. Upstairs, we made sure to frame an uninterrupted view of Bishop's Peak. Downstairs, in the Studio, we provided for a full kitchen and a space-saving built-in bed with ample storage, as well as a private backyard. Here are some of our favorite photos from this project:




Many thanks to Ed Cuming Custom Homes for his hard work on this project.

Hunter Smith Architecture is here to help you on your property development plans. We can help you maximize the investment potential with your property with a full Pro Forma, including an evaluation of any number of alternatives that will allow us to develop your property to its' highest and best use. Contact us today to get started on your project.

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