Is San Luis Obispo the next technology hub?

Locals get it.

DowntownSLO 09-07 168We know that SLO is more than an acronym for San Luis Obispo, because we live here. We imbibe the “SLO life” every day, preferring “slow food” over the run-of-the-mill burger chains and slow strolls through downtown over the rat-race pace of our bigger cities to the north and south. It’s a lifestyle we’re proud of—a lifestyle that brings thousands of tourists and some of America’s brightest students to SLO town every year—and it’s this culture that has been attracting millennial professionals and the companies who understand their needs, reaffirming what’s been whispered in business circles for years: San Luis Obispo could very well be the next technology hub.

Case in point: MindBody—a Fortune 500 software firm that focuses on helping small businesses manage their clients needs. Their new 60,000 square-foot headquarters on the corner of Broad Street and Tank Farm Road was designed by RRM with the millennial professional in mind. With sweeping views and light spilling in through every available space, it’s a place that connects people to each other and to their greater environment. It’s open. It encourages collaboration and innovation. But there’s more to it than even those details. Because the millennial professional—as well as the culture that drives companies like MindBody—are distinguished by their recognition that people are more than the business they work for.

DSC_0051“The success of any great company stems from its culture,” states Rick Stollmeyer, the chief executive officer of MindBody. It’s a culture that’s purpose driven, humble and helpful, caring and happy, committed to wellness, environmental consciousness, as well as leadership and continuous evolution—and this culture is reflected in the new MindBody campus, which has a daycare center for the children of all employees, grassy yoga mounds, a large outdoor space that serves as a meeting area, and a cafe with delicious health food. The headquarters considers a whole person and not just the needs of the business, because today’s young professionals want it all: the beauty of rolling hillsides and the promise of advancement in a rapidly growing industry, the surf breaks of Pismo Beach and the chance to further their career with companies that are making waves.

DSC_0053SLO is increasingly providing these opportunities to young professionals, as well as opportunities for the tech world at large. We have a talented and educated workforce streaming out of Cal Poly, a vibrant downtown with great music and great nightlife, plenty of open space, parks, and hiking trails, as well as connectivity to the rest of the world via our airport, the 101 freeway, and (of course) the web. We’re a fertile environment for growth. We’re a little piece of paradise. We’re SLO town—a burgeoning force in the tech world—and it’s exciting to watch the SLO life spread far and wide.


RRM in the news: Laetitia winery to build homes

Laetitia winery wants to build up to 101 homes in rural Nipomo

From the San Luis Obispo Tribune (
By: Kaytlyn Leslie
April 27, 2015

A new housing development is in the works on the Laetitia Vineyard and Winery property in rural Nipomo, though it will likely be three to five years before any homes are built.

According to planning documents submitted to the county, Laetitia’s owners are proposing to build an agricultural cluster — similar to the Biddle Ranch and Edna Ranch housing projects elsewhere in San Luis Obispo County — that would potentially bring up to 101 new homes to the area.

About 1,802 acres out of the 1,910-acre property would be preserved with open space agreements, with the homes and other development taking up the remaining 108 acres.

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Downtown Pismo Beach Vision and Strategic Plan Wins Award

The Downtown Pismo Beach Vision and Strategic Plan recently won the Best Practices Award from the Central Coast APA (American Planning Association).

RRM Design Group prepared a vision and strategic plan that will provide the City of Pismo Beach a roadmap for future development in its downtown core. The project required extensive public outreach, including stakeholder interviews and a series of interactive public meetings and workshops. Through these workshops, RRM was able to establish a clear vision by using design solutions that maintain Pismo’s classic eclectic coastal community feel.

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MINDBODY expands San Luis Obispo Headquarters

MINDBODY recently celebrated the expansion of their San Luis Obispo headquarters. MINDBODY employees over 850 people, with that number expected to grow in the coming years. Their new facility increased their size by 60% adding 64,000 square feet.

RRM developed the master plan concepts for the 64,000 sf headquarters, featuring a large entry plaza that functions as an outdoor meeting space for the entire campus. Upper floor walkways overlook the atrium lobby, which is a high-volume space with comfortable seating areas. In addition to providing open office areas for workgroups, the building also includes a full-service café, multi-purpose meeting rooms that open out to the plaza, and a day-care facility for employees’ children.

The main entry drive for the campus includes iconic architectural features to help identify the MINDBODY campus. The site also includes landscaped pathways that will connect existing and new office buildings.

Pictures from the event:

RRM Design Group adds Structural Engineering Services

RRM Design Group is pleased to announce the expansion of our engineering services with the addition of structural engineering. As a multi-discipline design firm comprised of architects, engineers, landscape architects, planners and surveyors, we recognized that the demand for this service would fit seamlessly into our structure and compliment the other services we provide.

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Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network Master Plan wins AEP Award

The Santa Cruz County Transportation Commission, along with RRM Design Group, W-Trans, and Rincon Consultants, , received the Outstanding Planning Document award for the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network Master Plan at the AEP conference in Santa Barbara on March 23rd.

The Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network is planned to be a transportation, recreation, and interpretive bicycle and pedestrian pathway network that spans the entire coast of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, from the northern part of Santa Cruz County to Lovers Point in Pacific Grove, Monterey County. The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission hired RRM Design Group to prepare a multi-phased bikeway trail alignment and design study. The study aligns the trail along the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way and provides coastal access or coastal viewing opportunities, where possible. The study provided significant public involvement and outreach, topographic mapping, GPS control surveys, a preferred route and design, preliminary trail engineering, cost analysis, and environmental CEQA clearance.

RRM Design Group Expanding to Bay Area Location

RRM Design Group is opening a new Bay Area office in San Leandro. The office is located at 123 Estudillo, Suite 200. The new location has opened in response to the firm’s continuing growth in the Bay Area and Northern California.

Leading the new office will be Gina Chavez. Gina, a senior landscape architect with RRM Design Group, has over a decade of experience in landscape architecture and community planning. As a Bay Area native and qualified Bay Friendly Landscape Professional, Gina is passionate about her local environment and community.  She has worked on a wide-variety of projects including Burg Park in Richmond, Downtown Vallejo Streetscape Revitalization, and Kaiser Medical Offices Campus Improvements in Pleasanton. Gina will be provided with additional leadership from Jeff Ferber and Lief McKay.

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Grand Opening San Luis Obispo Skate Park

The City of San Luis Obispo celebrated the grand opening of their new skate park this weekend. It was a great success with over 1,000 people in attendance.

View our slideshow:


Aerial video:


Breaking ground: Visalia Fire Station No. 53

Community members and public officials attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Visalia Fire Station No. 53, which will be built on the southeast corner of W. Walnut Avenue and S. Atwood Street. This new 6,800 sf station will serve the southwest part of Visalia.


Breaking ground: San Luis Obispo Public Market at Bonetti Ranch

The community of San Luis Obispo came out to celebrate the groundbreaking of an exciting and unique project, the San Luis Obispo Public Market at Bonetti Ranch. This mixed use project will preserve and celebrate the history of Bonetti Ranch while providing the community with new commercial, retail and residential uses.

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RRM Design Group - As professional problem solvers and designers, we are interested in the world around us, the people who live in it, and the places that inspire them. We are driven by a desire to help our clients achieve their dreams. That is why we are in business. RRM Design Group is an award-winning design firm of architects, civil engineers, landscape architects, planners, surveyors, and LEED® accredited professionals. Our work includes architectural rendering, mixed use development, community planning and development, and urban design and planning, among numerous other project types. Since 1974, RRM has been inspired by the power of Creating Environments People Enjoy®.