News Stories

Monday, April 28, 2014

Business Journal Staff Report

Regulation, transformative projects focus of May 21 conference

The regulatory landscape for construction and a detailed look at some of the North Bay’s major projects will be the focus of the Business Journal’s Construction Conference on May 21.

The keynote speaker for the morning conference is set to be Tennis “JT” Wick, director of the county of Sonoma’s Permit & Resource Management Department, or PRMD, which regulates real estate development and construction as well as stewardship of natural resources.

He assumed that role in November, bringing with him decades of private-and public-sector experience in real estate development. He was a partner and planner in the Petaluma office of CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering Group in the latter half of the 1990s, then became a principal with Sausalito-based Berg Holdings, responsible for government affairs, site acquisition, design and special projects.

Before working in the private sector, Mr. Wick worked for a decade at Marin County Development Agency, serving as development chief, principal planner, senior planner and planner.
On the conference’s major projects panel are scheduled to be:

Hugh Futrell, president of Hugh Futrell Corp., redeveloper of the former AT&T building in downtown Santa Rosa into a 100,000-square-foot office building and wine museum and Don Tomasi, partner of TLCD Architecture, designer of that project, called Museum on the Square.
Joe Guerra, in charge of Northern California acquisitions and entitlements for SunCal Companies, redeveloper of the 30-acre former State Farm Insurance campus in Rohnert Park into a transit-oriented, mixed-use community and city center called Rohnert Crossing.
Keith Rogal, founder and partner in Rogal + Walsh + Mol, a firm that is redeveloping the 154-acre former Napa Pipe plant in south Napa as a mixed-use community and is repurposing the former Copia wine and food center in downtown Napa.

Registration will start at 7:30 a.m. and costs $65 a person. The program will run from 8–11 a.m. The event will be held in the events center at Sonoma Mountain Village, 1100 Valley House Rd., Rohnert Park. Preregistration at NorthBayBusinessJournal.com closes May 16.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

By Jeff Quackenbush, Business Journal Staff Reporter

Plans for wine museum take shape

Organizers for a planned 15,000-square-foot wine museum are busily reaching out to potential wine industry supporters as demolition work gets started to convert its future home downtown into a five-story office building.

In the next three months, boosters intend to present the vision for what’s currently called the California Wine Museum (californiawinemuseum.org), according to Lindsay Austin, a wine microcrush club operator and chairman of the nonprofit behind the venture.

“Wine consumers are thirsting for knowledge and want to learn about wine, so our goal is to quench that by creating a venue like a blending of the Academy of Sciences and The Exploratorium,” Mr. Austin said.

The goal is to leave visitors with a higher appreciation for the history, artistry, science, technology and advances in sustainability of growing grapes and making wine.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Posted by ahutchinson | one response

Museum on the Square – a peek at the design

At last, Wine Country will have a wine museum. Under construction now in the former AT & T building on Third St., the California Wine Museum, comprising 4,500 wine-related artifacts from a privately-owned collection assembled by collector and antique dealer Jim McCormick, is due to be completed by early 2015.

The Museum on the Square project originally envisioned as a 10-story building with residences on the upper floors. The idea, according to Don Tomasi, principal designer at TLCD Architecture, was that the residences would make the project more financially viable. The opposite, however, was the case. The design was scaled back to five stories, with TLCD occupying the third floor, Luther Burbank Savings taking the fourth and fifth floors and a restaurant opening on street level. The California Wine Museum will be in the sub-level, lending a wine cellar feel. The interior design of the museum, said Tomasi, is in its early stages.
 

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

KEVIN McCALLUM THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Santa Rosa’s AT&T building being revamped for new tenants (w/video)

Demolition began this week on the former AT&T building in Santa Rosa, the first step in a long-awaited effort to redevelop the vacant downtown eyesore into a glass-clad office building.

About 14 workers from Richmond-based demolition firm C. Hammond Construction began gutting the interior of the windowless, fortress-like structure, long considered a blight on the downtown.

Video

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Jeff Quackenbush, Business Journal Staff Reporter

Large Santa Rosa office projects to begin

Major renovation of the former AT&T telephone switching building in downtown Santa Rosa and American AgCredit’s 120,000-square-foot new headquarters north of the city are poised to move to construction in the next month.

Together, they are set to transform the entryways to the heart of Santa Rosa and to the business parks adjacent to Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport.

Redevelopment of the vacant five-story AT&T building into a modern office building has been an economic development goal for years and in the works in fits and starts since the former city redevelopment agency bought it in 2007.

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Kevin McCallum- The Press Democrat

Work to start soon on Museum on the Square in Santa Rosa

Construction is to begin soon on the long-delayed Museum on the Square project, which even in its scaled-back form is expected to stimulate revitalization of downtown Santa Rosa.

City building officials issued a permit last week for the project, which promises to transform the vacant former AT&T building into a glass-clad office building and wine museum.

Developer Hugh Futrell signed closing documents on his $11 million construction loan Friday afternoon and expects work on the interior of the building to begin this month, he said.

“My partners and I are extremely excited about the project, more so than ever,” Futrell said. “We think it will be transformative, and we know our tenants agree.”

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kevin McCallum- The Press Democrat

Santa Rosa council signs off on Museum on the Square revision

The Santa Rosa City Council unanimously approved the latest redesign of the Museum on the Square project with little discussion Tuesday.

The latest design for the vacant former AT&T building many consider an eyesore won't include as much glass on the exterior but will retain the same basic structure of four stories of office space built above a first-story museum and restaurant space.

It was going to cost developer Hugh Futrell about $1.2 million to construct the shear walls that would have allowed the construction of the exterior curtain of glass.

That cost plus delays created by the high demand for window glazing in the red-hot Bay Area housing market threatened to delay the project further and jeopardize the tenancy of Luther Burbank Savings, Futrell said.

The project was scaled back from 10 stories to five after the tight financing market and demise of the redevelopment agency threatened the project, which has been one of the highest-profile development plans downtown for years.

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Kevin McCallum- The Press Democrat

Plans for Santa Rosa’s Museum on the Square revised again

The Museum on the Square is getting yet another make-over, this time a scaling back of a glass facade that is proving too pricey.

Developer Hugh Futrell on Tuesday will ask the Santa Rosa City Council to sign off on a new design for the vacant former AT&T building, slated as the future home of Luther Burbank Savings.

The previous design called for the north side of the building to be covered in a curtain wall, a modern non-load-bearing wall of glass.

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