(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.)
Larry Wasem, managing general partner, Airport Business Center
414 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa 95403; 707-578-5344; 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.
Airport Business Center, located near Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport north of Santa Rosa, 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 two dozen acres left to develop, including five of the 17 acres in the development’s phase 7, located along Conde Lane in Windsor. Wine Country Shipping signed a build-to-suit deal for a 31,000-square-foot distribution facility to be built in that phase. Current occupants there are DuMol and Marcassin wineries and retailer Tractor Supply Co.
The business park recently also sold 3.5 acres, with options on another 7.5 acres, to Santa Rosa-based American AgCredit, and the park is managing a project to build 50,000 square feet of offices. A manufacturer has made initial inquiries about a 100,000-square-foot build-to-suit project.
“That’s five times the activity we’ve seen in four years,” Larry Wasem said. Having land with proper zoning and entitlements and staff skilled in financing at a time when construction and permanent lending terms are getting more competitive is an advantage for the business park, he said.
Barney Aldridge, chief executive officer, Aldridge Management and Highway Partners, LLC
P.O. Box 1771, Ross 94957; 707-824-5600; thebarlow.net
North Bay project: The Barlow, Sebastopol — 11 new light-industrial and retail buildings with 96,000 square feet of space; under construction; property acquired for $12 million, $23 million in construction financing.
Barney Aldridge owns and manages 240,000 square feet of office, retail and industrial space in Sebastopol and Boulder, Colo. Sebastopol Industrial Park, which includes The Barlow redevelopment project of the former Barlow Co. apple-processing plant on Morris Street at the eastern city entrance, was acquired in 2006 for $12 million. The 125,000 square feet of existing industrial space is fully leased.
Construction started early this year on replacing the Barlow building with 11 concrete-and-steel-framed buildings, extension of McKinley Street to connect with Morris Street and central development outdoor stage. The development has two dozen tenants and is about 80 percent leased, according to Mr. Aldridge. Kosta Browne Winery’s barrel cellar opened in October, and its production facility is set to be complete in December. Taylor Made Coffee is set to occupy its space in January. Other occupancies are planned in the first half of 2013.
“The community wanted the property to remain what it was in industrial uses and have a campus of artisan producers,” Mr. Aldridge said. With Rialto Cinemas taking over the theaters near the property and a new connecting street from Highway 12 past the city plaza to Highway 116, the site will become a cultural hub, he said. “Sebastopol needs a place to gather, because it is a crossroads and has not had a center for the community.”
Matt White, president and CEO, Basin Street Properties
1383 N. McDowell Blvd., Ste. 200, Petaluma 94954; 707-795-4477; 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 planned in a number of 14 Santa Rosa office buildings re-acquired in October.
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.
In the first half of 2011, Basin Street re-acquired seven Petaluma buildings for $21 million from lenders and spent millions more upgrading them for new tenants, namely 96,000 square feet for Enphase Energy. In October, Basin Street bought back 14 Santa Rosa buildings from Equity Office for roughly $65 million and plans to spend $6 million over four years on upgrades and tenant-improvement incentives.
Brigitta Brondi, president, Brondi Development
3625 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa 95403; 707-579-2400; 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; 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; eyed for possible redevelopment. Former Los Robles Lodge site, Santa Rosa — 3.5 acres south of Coddingtown envisioned for multifamily housing or retail.
In the past seven 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 renovate Coddingtown Mall and acquired the shuttered Los Robles Lodge property just south of the mall.
Coddingtown had a significant interior and exterior facelift last year, and the current plan is for a 144,000-square-foot single-story Target store to replace the current two-story vacant Gottschalks store in early 2014.
A deal is in the works for a 50,000-square-foot retailer to take over the Los Robles site, according to Mr. Baker.
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