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Old Navy now is open at Enos Ranch, providing Santa Maria-area shoppers with a new option for men's, women's and children's clothes.

Construction of the 11,000-square-foot building began in June and was completed earlier this month. The store is the first new retailer to open in the southwestern portion of the retail project, following a cluster of openings in the development's southeastern section last fall. 

Old Navy held a soft opening Jan. 24, three days after Urbane Cafe, a fast-casual sandwich and salad shop, and celebrated its grand opening Jan. 27, according to Jim Sanders, vice president of development for Paynter Realty and Investments, the retail development firm that worked to develop the southwestern portion of the shopping center.

The store, located at 1594 S. College Drive, is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"We're really happy to be able to be a part of the project and to see the community prosper with neat, new retailers and the addition of new jobs for the community," Sanders said. "We're happy to be a part of its development and the community."

According to its website, San Francisco-based Old Navy offers shoppers a selection of casual and semiformal clothing for men, women and children at more than 1,000 locations worldwide. It operates as a subsidiary of Gap Inc., the organization's parent company, alongside Banana Republic and fitness and lifestyle brand Athleta.

Santa Maria resident Lacey Wilde was at Buffalo Wild Wings on Thursday when she saw people trickle in and out of the retailer's front doors. A self-professed shopaholic, Wilde wandered through the store's aisles and sections with no intent of buying anything.

"Obviously, they got me," she joked, holding up a bag with her recently purchased clothes. "I've been waiting ... and looking forward to this for months."

Wilde said the retailer's presence provides more variety to Santa Maria shoppers seeking a deal on clothes.

Shopper Diane Owen agreed.

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"I liked being able to see things for spring and their overall variety of dresses," Owen said. "A lot of places don't seem to have dresses anymore."

Sporting goods retailer Dick's, cosmetics store ULTA and HomeGoods, a discount home furnishings store, are expected to open by late March, Sanders said.

The 113-acre, mixed-use project was approved by city officials in 2016 and contains seven zones slated for different use. In addition to the retail, office and warehouse space that have shaped the development's southern section, auto dealerships, community facilities and residential apartments will soon take shape in the northern portion.

The development is also expected to include 318 single-family apartment units, a city park and a new elementary school. Construction has yet to begin and there has been no projected completion date.

Mathew Burciaga covers education in Santa Maria and the surrounding area for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @math_burciaga

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