The nearly two dozen cannabis-commerce applications submitted in Santa Rosa in the past year have brought a surge of business for North Bay contractors including architects, engineers, builders, traffic planners, landscapers, HVAC specialists, attorneys and security firms.
Steve Monahan launched Duke Capital Investors, LLC and in October submitted an application for a major conditional use permit at 2835 Duke Court in Santa Rosa. The project involves cultivation in a former church building with 24,510 square feet, 25 employees per shift and 90 parking spaces.
Monahan hired architect Peter Petruzzi, based in San Francisco, where Monahan had other cannabis business. The empty building is located in a quiet cul-de-sac across from a brewery and HVAC business, around the corner from the Jean and Charles Schulz Campus of Canine Companions for Independence on Dutton Avenue.
Aside from reckoning with cannabis odor, the “project will have negligible environmental impact,” Monahan said in his application. “Any odors will be mitigated and all effluent from the cultivation will be measured and tracked. The effluent itself has been independently evaluated and determined to be of negligible impact to city water systems.”
BUSINESS EFFICIENCY EXPERT
The Duke Court project has a couple of layers of legal structure in its business organization. “Duke Capital Investors is a single-member LLC managed by Sterling SC Six, LLC,” according to the Duke application to the city. Sterling SC Six is a single-member real-estate-investment company owned by Steve Monahan’s father, Thomas Monahan, CEO of Monahan Pacific, a real estate developer based in San Rafael.
“Steve is handling this,” according to Thomas Monahan. “Steve has a separate company called Duke Collective. That’s who the permit holder is” for the conditional-use in Santa Rosa. “That permits cultivation in that building. They will be completing that work this summer and begin operations after that. They will have special climate-control HVAC systems and smell or odor filtration, special lighting. It’s all very high-tech, clean rooms, pretty expensive. They will hire a general contractor to execute that design. They are planning to provide cannabis to medical dispensaries in compliance with state and local jurisdictions,” he said.
“This is his first one in Santa Rosa,” Monahan said of his son. “He is interested in doing others, actively looking at trying to expand. He has an elite team of people, different disciplines — architects, engineers, consultants, attorneys. He has a business degree and is an efficiency expert. He’s looking at it from a business level. He has other business interests in cannabis. He has been doing that for four or five years in San Francisco, has branched out into Sonoma County.”
FORMER COP BIDS ON SECURITY
Mike Ferguson manages a branch of First Security Services in the North Bay, serving Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties. He has cannabis-security business “only in Sonoma County, only in Santa Rosa,” said Ferguson, who employs about 100 security officers.
“I have about 11 proposals out for Santa Rosa” involving security for “marijuana-processing plants,” said Ferguson, who retired some 16 years ago from work as a lieutenant for the Sonoma County sheriff’s department. “It’s kind of ironic,” he said. “Back in those days, people who had any amount of marijuana were subject to arrest and jail time. Now I’m providing security services. I’m well aware of how to make defensible spaces.”
Two proposed security contracts are for facilities near his headquarters on Briggs Avenue in Santa Rosa, close to Cleveland Avenue. “I have one behind my office building and one down the block. My role is at the site, security officers 24/7, complemented by patrol vehicles during the night,” he said. None of the cannabis businesses is ready to open.
More coverage of North Coast cannabis commerce: nbbj.news/cannabis