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West End Village Combines live-work, retail, single-family near SMART station

[caption id="attachment_15279" align="alignright" width="288" caption="Rendering of West End Village Building 3"][/caption]

SANTA ROSA – West End Village, a ground-breaking attached single-family housing development near Railroad Square and the SMART rail, has been approved by the city's Design Review Board.

There will be 42-units in four buildings about 650 feet from where the Sonoma Marin Area Rapid Transit terminal is planned.

This project has eight live-work units, about 40 percent with two-car garages and individual elevators.

In addition to the residential area there will be a 5,000-square-foot retail building that will house what the developers anticipate to be a bookstore, deli and coffee shop for the neighbors.

A 73-unit phase, called DeTurk Winery Village after the historic building, already is approved and will be on the opposite side of the railroad from the West End Village.

[caption id="attachment_15278" align="alignleft" width="288" caption="Rendering of West End Village Building 1"][/caption]

Between the two, there will be 115 market-rate homes, retail and live-work space. According to developer Rick Deringer, they will be the first two projects built before the train arrives in 2014.

“It will bring new life to the local community and should encourage new developments to move forward in the area,” he said.

“This is a perfect example of what the city of Santa Rosa wants in housing: 'smart growth,' walkability, livability and green. This will start the movement of transit village development surrounding the new train station on Fourth Street,” he continued.

He said there will be roof parking, recycled water and electric recharging stations in the street.

Building A will be three stories, Building B will be four and C and D are set to be three stories. Building D faces the railroad tracks.

Bill Rose, the project planner the city appointed to the development, said from the beginning it was a challenging site plan. “It is fairly narrow, fairly long and required a number of considerations the city had to review, including a bike lane on Wilson Street,” he said.

Allen Thomas is a development consultant and worked on the West End Village project as well as the DeTurk Winery project.

“I was brought on as a conduit to the community outreach to get a sense of what the neighbors, planning commission, city council and staff wanted,” he said.

He said the hardest part of the project was not the numbers, but there is not a precedent for attached housing in that area.

“There is not a lot of downtown attached housing,” Mr. Thomas said. But, he added, “it goes along with the stationary specific plan, which envisions something more like this.”

“When you are trying to concentrate housing, you attach it.”

Mr. Deringer said, “We are trying to push the concept that the city wants. Most of all development henceforth is going to force that.”

Mr. Rose said that another issue was the bike lane along Wilson Street. Unsure whether it was to be class one or class two bike lanes, the developer accommodated it so it could be either.

“It was a real win for everybody,” Mr. Rose said.

The project was first brought to the table in August 2007.

Mr. Rose said he attributes the developer's communication with the neighbors, the city and the planners to the speed at which the project was approved.

“The applicant did a good job with neighborhood outreach,” he said. "By the time we got to the public meetings the neighbors seemed very informed. It was very helpful.”

The project was designed by Hunt Hale & Jones of San Francisco and Alameda-based landscape architecture firm Levesque Design.