Large Santa Rosa office projects to begin

[caption id="attachment_89210" align="alignnone" width="500"] Work to transform the AT&T building in downtown Santa Rosa into a modern office building is set to begin in March. (rendering courtesy of TLCD Architecture)[/caption]

SANTA ROSA -- 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.

Museum on the Square, LLC, an affiliate of Santa Rosa-based developer Hugh Futrell Corp., purchased the building from the city in October for just over $1 million and is gearing up to start construction this month on the $16 million, 92,000-square-foot project. Completion is set for 2015.

"Assuming our construction loan closes in the next few days, which seems probable but is not guaranteed, we will be under construction during the next 10 days," Hugh Futrell told the Business Journal on Wednesday.

Key tenants are to be Luther Burbank Savings for headquarters in 32,000 square feet on the fourth and fifth floors, project designer TLCD Architecture in 16,000 square feet on the third floor and 12,000 square feet donated to the newly formed California Wine Museum on a level below ground. The museum reportedly is raising $2.5 million for improvements and exhibits.

Remaining to lease are 15,000 square feet of office space and 11,000 square feet of street-level restaurant space. Marketing for that is set to start when construction begins, Mr. Futrell said.

The project involves adding windows on the north and south sides of the windowless building, originally built to protect equipment inside from catastrophes as extreme as nuclear explosions. An early design called for adding five stories to the structure for housing, but that was dropped as economic conditions worsened. A plan for a glass wall on the north side reportedly was dropped late last year because the cost of glazing has spiked with a surge in Bay Area construction.Ag office center at the airport

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