(This spotlight on major commercial developers is comprised of companies and their leadership that have undertaken major projects in the North Bay. They are listed first by county and then alphabetically by company.)
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Larry Wasem, Managing General Partner, Airport Business Center
414 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa 95403; 707-578-5344; www.airportbusinesscenter.com
North Bay project: Airport Business Center phase 7, Windsor — the latest expansion to the 463-acre business park has 17 acres of industrial land.
Located near Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport north of Santa Rosa, Airport Business Center is the North Bay’s largest business park. Larry Wasem and Richard Coombs started the park, and the other holdings include the 50 Old Courthouse Square office building and two movie theaters in downtown Santa Rosa as well as golf courses in Windsor and Petaluma.
Airport Business Center has about 30 acres left to develop, 9.5 of which are in a 17-acre new phase of the development. Occupants of the new phase already are DuMol and Marcassin wineries and retailer Tractor Supply Co.
There are several large and small prospects for the remaining land, but deals are even slower to consummate than before, according to Mr. Wasem.
“In general, we were disappointed to see the economy slow again toward the end of the second quarter,” he said. “However, we still feel very good about our ability to deliver product. We have great lending relationships.”
Matt White, President and CEO, Basin Street Properties
1383 N. McDowell Blvd., Ste. 200, Petaluma 94954; 707-795-4477; www.basin-street.com
North Bay projects: Approvals to build 300,000 square feet of office buildings at Fountaingrove Executive Center in northeast Santa Rosa, Harvest Business Center by Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport, Redwood Business Center in northeast Petaluma and Petaluma Marina Office Center in southeast Petaluma. Renovations are under way in seven Petaluma office buildings, totaling re-acquired in 2011.
Matt White joined Basin Street in 1994, when it was called G&W Management and he was involved in industrial development. He then moved to chief financial officer and finally to the top executive spot a decade ago. Basin Street Properties has been a major North Bay commercial property developer since it became the driving force for Redwood Business Park in the 1970s, when the company was called G&W Management.
As the tech-led recession of 2001 led to higher vacancies in local tech companies, Basin Street sold 1.45 million square feet of office space in Sonoma and Marin counties in 2005 and relocated its headquarters to Reno, Nev., in 2009 as the company focused on hospitality, multifamily, retail and mixed-use projects elsewhere in Northern California and in the Reno area.
“The last 10 years have been very difficult, and there has been a 10-year telecom hangover,” he said. “I feel like we’ve finally worked through that. We’ve finally come back to a healthy place.”
In the first half of this year, Basin Street re-acquired seven Petaluma buildings for $21 million from lenders and is spending millions more upgrading them for new tenants, namely the 96,000-square-foot of Enphase Energy later this year.
“The greatest thing in Sonoma County right now is the growth is not all in one industry,” Mr. White said. “It’s in telecom and solar and agriculture and medical devices and Athleta-type businesses. That’s really good for the long-term viability of the market.”
Basin Street continues to look for North Bay distressed multifamily, retail and office properties to repurpose, he said. For office properties, he’s looking specifically for such opportunities that have floorplates that accommodate today’s tenants, needing 2,000 to 10,000 square feet.
Brigitta Brondi, President, Brondi Development
3625 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa 95403; 707-579-2400; www.westwind-businesspark.com
North Bay project: Westwind Business Park, Santa Rosa — 80-acre master planned development with 11 building pads prepared for immediate construction of up to 700,000 square feet of office and flex space
Brad Baker, President and CEO, Codding Enterprises
1400 Valley House Dr., Rohnert Park 94928; 707-795-3550; www.sonomamountainvillage.com
North Bay projects: Sonoma Mountain Village, Rohnert Park — 175 acres; 839,000 square feet of commercial, office and retail space, including 500,000 square feet of existing office and warehouse space; planned urban village with 951 multifamily units and 743 single-family homes; approved; first phase possibly could start in 2011-12. Coddingtown, Santa Rosa — 930,000-square-foot mall built in 1960; undergone upgrades, including a new anchor tenant; eyed for possible redevelopment. Former Los Robles Lodge site, Santa Rosa — 3.5 acres south of Coddingtown envisioned for multifamily housing or retail; existing buildings demolished and planning has begun.
In 2005 Brad Baker and Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Lisa Codding assumed the reins of the company started by his late stepfather, Hugh Codding, a major local residential and commercial developer since the 1940s.
In the past six years, the company acquired the 200-acre former Agilent Technologies campus in Rohnert Park, now called Sonoma Mountain Village, entered a $50 million joint venture with Simon Property Group to reposition and potentially redevelop Coddingtown Mall and acquired the shuttered Los Robles Lodge property just south of the mall. Coddingtown is undergoing a significant interior and exterior facelift, set to be complete later this year.
Mr. Baker also has started green ventures, such as the clean-tech-oriented Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster, Community Fuels and light-gauge steel panelized construction systems fabricator Codding Steel Frame Solutions. The latter closed in June, a move he attributed to the slowdown in construction activity since the housing bubble burst locally in 2006 and the global financial crisis of 2008.
Michael Dieden, Principal, Creative Housing Associates
Jack Gardner, President and CEO, The John Stewart Co.
Creative Housing Associates, 8758 Venice Blvd., Ste. 101, Los Angeles 90034; 310-836-1342; www.challc.com. The John Stewart Co., 1388 Sutter St., 11th floor, San Francisco 94109; 415-345-4400; www.jsco.net
North Bay projects: SMART Railroad Square and Cannery, Santa Rosa — 40,000 square feet of offices, 30,000-square-foot farmer’s market, 82 multifamily units (68 affordable); three phases, first to start in 2013; estimated $200 million.
Creative Housing Associates, which Michael Dieden started in 1997, is partner with The John Stewart Co. and Equity Community Builders in the historic preservation of a former cannery and rail depot and construction of a transit-oriented development. The site also is the future downtown Santa Rosa station for Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit, which has been targeting the start of commuter service for 2014.
Hugh Futrell, CEO, Hugh Futrell Corp.
200 Fourth St., Ste. 250, Santa Rosa 95401; 707-568-3482; www.hughfutrellcorp.com
North Bay commercial projects: Museum on the Square, Santa Rosa — extensive renovation of the former AT&T downtown switching building with ground-floor restaurant, four floors of offices and five floors of housing in 40 units; proposed. 250 Davis St., Santa Rosa — four-story, 70,000-square-foot class A office building with ground-floor retail and interior parking; approved but on hold. 888 Fourth St., Santa Rosa — seven-story mixed-use building with 6,200 square feet of office and retail space and 52 housing units; approved; allowed design options are being reviewed.
Licensed general contractor, real estate broker and Santa Rosa native Hugh Futrell and Bill Carle, executive vice president, have built and consulted on more than three dozen residential, commercial and mixed-use projects in the North Bay.
One of the three downtown Santa Rosa pending projects is proposed redevelopment of the former downtown Santa Rosa AT&T switching building. Planned tenants are Sonoma County Museum and TLCD Architecture. Métier pulled out of the project earlier this year.
David Geiser, Managing Director, Merlone Geier Partners
425 California St., 11th floor, San Francisco 94104; 415-693-9000; www.deercreekproject.com
North Bay project: Deer Creek Village, Petaluma — 346,000-square-foot retail and office development on 36.5 acres; Planning Commission and City Council to consider the environmental impact report later this year.
San Diego-base David Geiser, AIA, is one of six managing directors for Merlone Geier Partners and focuses on project design and construction and came to the firm in 1997. Merlone Geier started in 1994 to develop and redevelop retail and mixed-use projects in Western states.
The firm acquired the Deer Creek property from Downey Savings & Loan in August 2009. The proposed anchor tenant, Lowe’s Home Improvement, in October said it was dropping plans for a store there.
Richard Deringer, President, Odyssey Development Co. LLC
P.O. Box 1316, Sonoma 95476; 707-310-2291
North Bay projects: West End Village, Santa Rosa — 42 single-family attached row homes and 5,000 square feet of retail in Railroad Square. DeTurk Winery Village, Santa Rosa — 73 attached single-family homes in Railroad Square. Windsor Creekside Village, Windsor — 179 attached and detached small-lot single-family homes, 65,000 square feet of commercial space and a 100-room hotel; seeking housing-construction allocation under town growth ordinance. Sonoma Valley Business Park, Sonoma — 300,000 square feet of wine and food-related light industrial space on 40 acres; approved by county.
Rhonda Deringer, a top-producing agent for the largest North Bay commercial real estate brokerage, Keegan & Coppin/ONCOR International, and her development consultant husband, Richard, have undertaken mixed-use projects in the city of Sonoma and have received approvals for two large redevelopment projects in the Railroad Square district of downtown Santa Rosa. Sonoma Valley Business Park is a joint venture with Jay Ryder of Ryder Homes.
Ms. Deringer moved into full-time brokerage last year, and Mr. Deringer is now president.
Odyssey takes the single-family attached and detached approach to mixed-use urban development because of the bonding and legal liability issues related to condominium development and challenges leasing ground-floor retail in locations without optimum traffic, according to Mr. Deringer.
Jeff Civian, Project Civil Engineer, OSL Management LLC
220 Concourse Blvd., Santa Rosa 95403; 707-535-3200
North Bay project: Bell Village, Windsor — 77,600 square feet of retail space anchored by a CVS drug store on 6.3 acres of a nearly 25-acre site with 29 townhouses and 374 condos, with 20 percent of the housing set aside for very low incomes; Planning Commission to consider use permit and tentative map on Nov. 8; estimated cost $50 million-plus
Jeff Civian, P.E., has been working with Bill Gallaher at OSL Management on in-house design of projects since 1986, during construction of the Oakmont community of Santa Rosa. The company is redeveloping the Windsorland 200-space mobile home park for property owner Bell Village LP.
Peter Knoedler, Senior Vice President of Investments, Regency Centers Corp.
2999 Oak Rd., Ste. 1000, Walnut Creek 94597; 925-279-1800; www.eastwashingtonplace.com
North Bay projects: East Washington Place, Petaluma — 378,000-square-foot regional shopping center anchored by a 139,000-square-foot Target store, plus 16,000 square feet of office space on 33 acres; approved; estimated cost $185 million.
Peter Knoedler oversees acquisitions and development of projects by Florida-based shopping center giant Regency Centers in Northern California and Nevada.
Regency acquired the former Kenilworth school property in Petaluma in 2004. The project was approved in February 2010, but lawsuits by a local group and Regency delayed the project until an agreement was reached that July.
In September of this year, the City Council approved a change to the project, allowing the square footage of six of the buildings to be combined into four larger buildings to accommodate bigger tenants. Prospective additional tenants include Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sunflower Farmers Market, Sprouts Farmers Market and TJ Maxx.
Paul Elmore, President, RNM Properties
135 Main St., Ste. 1140, San Francisco 94105; 415-356-2000; www.rnmproperties.com
North Bay projects: Cader Corporate Center, Petaluma — 354,000 square feet of office space on 20.4 acres; South McDowell East, Petaluma — 240,000 square feet of office space on 13.6 acres; both have entitlements and site building pads.
RNM started in 1983 by Oracle Corp. co-founder Robert Miner and has more than 1.8 million square feet of office properties in San Francisco, San Jose, Petaluma and Rohnert Park, with the majority of the space in Sonoma County.
Paul Elmore has been president of RNM Properties for a decade. His career in property, asset and portfolio management, construction and leasing covers more than two decades in the U.S. and Europe.
Joan Woodard, President and CEO
Larry Simons, Founder and Chairman
Simons & Woodard Inc.
100 Stony Point Rd., Ste. 180, Santa Rosa 95401; 707-524-6300;www.simonsandwoodard.com
North Bay project: Northpoint Corporate Center, Santa Rosa — 32 acres remain undeveloped with entitlements and zoning for up to 600,000 square feet of office space; all but six acres is entitled, properly zoned and declared to have no effect on listed species.
Simons & Woodard manages about 1 million square feet of commercial space in Santa Rosa.
Joan Woodard rose to the top executive position in the firm in 2001 and in 2006 became an owner in the commercial real estate design, development and management firm architect Larry Simons started four decades earlier. Her real estate finance, development and leasing career started in the early 1970s and included work with the Rockefeller family portfolio, Bramela and The Disney Co.
William Saks, Principal, William A. Saks & Co.
1010 Main St., St. Helena 94574; 707-968-9696; www.williamasaks.com
North Bay project: Carneros Business Park, Sonoma — 53 master-planned acres in 17 parcels; approved; occupants so far are Carneros Business Condominiums, Ganau America and Laura Chenel’s Chevre.
Bill Saks has been in residential, commercial and recently hospitality development for three decades. The firm manages Carneros Business Park for the Heck family.
Dan Safier, President, The Prado Group
150 Post St., Ste. 320, San Francisco 94108; 415-395-0880; www.pradogroup.com
North Bay projects: 1107-1119 Grant Ave., Novato — Upscale rehabilitation of the former Pini Hardware building as mixed-use retail and residential project with 15,000 square feet of street-oriented retail; Atherton Place, Novato — 59 townhomes, 12,500 square feet of retail, 3,746 square feet of boutique offices
After building a Trader Joe’s-anchored retail center in central Novato, Dan Safier has other projects proposed as part of several years of city and private efforts to breathe economic life into the historic downtown area.
Wick Polite, President, Seagate Properties Inc.
980 Fifth Ave., San Rafael 94901; 415-455-0300; www.seagateprop.com
North Bay project: San Rafael Corporate Center, San Rafael — third phase: an 80,000-square-foot class A office building; to be built sometime in the next five years.
Willis “Wick” Polite Jr. joined Seagate Properties in 1980 in charge of property acquisition and development. He became a general partner in 1984.
Seagate owns and manages about 3 million square feet of office, industrial and retail space as well as several hundred apartments in mostly Western states. That includes a about a half-million square feet of Marin properties such as Montecito Plaza Shopping Center in San Rafael.
Seagate and the asset-management division of New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. acquired San Rafael Corporate Center in mid-2007. The first two four-story buildings totaling 155,000 square feet were finished in 2001 by a previous owner and are 87 percent occupied, according to Mr. Polite. The third and fourth buildings, each with 80,000 square feet, and a parking garage were completed in 2009.
The third and final phase of the five-building, 400,000-square-foot class A office development on 13 acres of central San Rafael was approved for medical offices in 68,000 square feet of the development to accommodate physician offices or a small clinic, space for which are in demand in the county, according to Mr. Polite.
Though the business climate is getting more optimistic in the Bay Area, particularly for software developers that have been leasing up Seagate’s space on the Peninsula, the North Bay office market has been slower, he said.
“There continues to be a lack of net new job creation in the North Bay, and particularly in Marin,” he said. Much of the growth has been organic by major existing tenants, namely Kaiser Permanente, Autodesk and George Lucas-related companies around San Rafael, and BioMarin Pharmaceutical in Novato.
Dennis Allen, Managing Partner, Urban One
P.O. Box 71128, Los Angeles 90071; 213-618-9781; www.urbanone.com
North Bay project: Hanna Ranch, Novato — develop 19 acres south of Vintage Oaks Shopping Center with a three- and four-story hotel with 116 rooms, a single-story 13,500-square-foot retail building, a 42,000-square-foot two-story building with offices over shops, two 5,000-square-foot restaurant sites and about 10.5 acres of hillside parkland; approved by city Design Review Board in October, under consideration by City Council; estimated cost $30 million
With a background in real estate investment analysis, acquisition and development with The Kor Group, Starpoint Properties and UBS, Dennis Allen, 38, started Urban One to manage complex development projects.
Pacific Star Capital LLC of Los Angeles, acting as Hanna Novato LLC, brought in Urban One after it acquired the Hanna Ranch property in mid-2008 from San Francisco-based Wilson Meany Sullivan, which was unsuccessful in getting approval for a 130,000-square-foot The Home Depot store to anchor a retail development on the site. Urban One has taken a different approach, with lower-key buildings proposed to complement a pond and the slopes of the property.
Douglas Pope, Managing Member, Headwaters Development Co. LLC
50 Fullerton Ct., Ste. 203, Sacramento 95825; 916-564-8899;www.headwaterscompanies.com
North Bay project: Napa Commerce Center Industrial Park, south of Devlin Road at South Kelly Road, Napa — 218-acre joint venture with Deutsche Bank’s RREEF group; up to 2 million square feet of commercial space in buildings ranging in size from 50,000 to 400,000 square feet.
The first 646,000-square-foot warehouse was put on hold in 2010, but an overpass across the railroad tracks was completed.
Mel Souza, Partner, Panattoni Development Co.
8775 Folsom Blvd., Ste. 200, Sacramento 95826; www.panattoni.com
North Bay project: Napa Airport Commerce Centre, American Canyon — up to 750,000 square feet of warehouse space; several small for-sale office buildings on 50 acres; American Canyon recently applied to annex the property; proposal for the 12-acre first phase with four warehouses is awaiting approval of a plan to extend Devlin Road.
Panattoni Development has been a major developer of industrial real estate in Napa Valley, particularly in Green Island Industrial Park in American Canyon.
Joseph Peatman, President, Peter A. and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation
433 Soscol Ave., Ste. A-120, Napa 94559; 707-255-1646; www.gasserfoundation.org
North Bay projects: Napa Tulocay Square, Napa — joint venture with BLT Enterprises to build 110,000 square feet of retail and commercial space plus 500 high-density housing units on 21 acres; approved. Napa Century Center, Napa — joint venture 12-screen movie theater-anchored 163,000-square-foot shopping center with Hearn Construction on 12 acres; construction started in August.
Joe Peatman became president of Napa County’s largest charitable organization in 1990. He’s a retired land-use attorney and co-founded Napa law firm Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty in 1964.
Construction on the 2,051-seat movie multiplex anchoring Napa Century Center started in August. The theaters are set to open in late May 2012 and attract 500,000 to 600,000 movie-goers annually. The shopping center is configured for nine other buildings, including potential for a 120-room hotel, at least two restaurants and two significantly sized retailers.
Keith Rogal, Founder and General Partner, Rogal + Walsh + Mol
5 Third St., Ste. 1014, San Francisco 94103; 415-922-1000; www.rogalwalshmol.com
North Bay project: Redevelopment of the former Napa Pipe Corp. plant, Napa — 152 acres; 700,000 square feet of industrial space to be converted into an “urban village” with 2,580 attached and multifamily homes, 500,000 square feet of commercial and industrial space, a 150-room hotel and 400-student elementary school; Napa County’s environmental impact review was released in early 2011 and hearings are expected in 2012.
Napa Redevelopment Partners LLC, made up of Rogal + Walsh + Mol and Farallon Capital Management, acquired the property in 2005.
Mr. Rogal’s previous projects include redevelopment of a trailer park in the Carneros region between Napa and Sonoma counties into the high-end Carneros Inn resort.
Josh Reed, LEED AP, Director of Real Estate, Rudd Properties LLC
68 Coombs St., Bldg. C-1, Napa 94559; 707-253-1000; www.ruddprops.com
North Bay projects: Carnera Corporate Center, Napa — 2.7 acres of land adjacent to existing buildings with 32,000 square feet of office condos, built in a joint venture with Ledcor Construction. Napa Junction, American Canyon — 17-acre phase 3 of a Wal-Mart Supercenter-anchored open-air shopping center master developed with Lake Street Ventures; 143,000 square feet of retail, commercial and office space; approved in October and set for construction in 2012; estimated cost $62 million
Leslie Rudd branched out from his Kansas-based distributorship Standard Beverage Corp. to start the Dean & Deluca specialty grocery chain, a Napa Valley winery and a property investment and development firm with Todd Zapolski called Zapolski & Rudd. The two investors split their companies amicably in mid-2008.
Josh Reed joined Rudd Properties and Leslie Rudd Investment Co. this year. He’s responsible for day-to-day asset and property management, acquisitions, dispositions and development. Previously, he was assistant real estate manager for the county of Sonoma, a commercial real estate agent for Ritchie Commercial and construction manager and engineer for Hensel Phelps Construction Co.
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