The family behind two of Sonoma County’s largest commercial properties — including Coddingtown in Santa Rosa — on March 28 said they finished splitting business holdings into two organizations.
Investment company SOMO Living, LLC, whose largest holding is the 175-acre SOMO Village development in east Rohnert Park, is now separate from Codding Enterprises, which retains Coddingtown, Merced Mall in the Central Valley and commercial properties around them. The Coddings first discussed this transition in December as they were reacquiring full ownership of Coddingtown from Simon Property Group.
The reorganization also comes as the first construction is moving toward starting this year at SOMO Village, a former Agilent Technologies campus where 1,721 homes are planned.
Brad Baker shifted from the helm of Codding to lead SOMO Living, with ownership of it shared by Connie Codding, his mother and wife of the late Hugh Codding, a major local real estate developer. Codding Enterprises is run by granddaughters Lisa and Lois Codding, who also run Codding Construction.
“It is more of an estate-planning exercise between different family members,” Baker said Wednesday.
Connie Codding said in a statement that Hugh Codding would see this new ownership structure as “work to continue his legacy.”
Codding Enterprises in December bought back the 50 percent stake in Coddingtown sold to Simon Property Group in 2005. Proceeds from the original deal helped fund Codding Enterprises’s purchase of the 200-acre former Hewlett-Packard then Agilent campus on Valley House Road, setting the stage for Baker’s plan to create a large, environmentally friendly community, called Sonoma Mountain Village then SOMO Village.
The 600,000 square feet of former Agilent buildings there are 97 percent full. That’s thanks to the recent addition of Keysight Technologies in temporary space as repairs continue on its headquarters in Santa Rosa’s Fountaingrove area.
Under the umbrella of eight-employee SOMO Living umbrella are SOMO Village Commercial, LLC; SOMO Land Company, LLC; SOMO Construction, Inc.; and SOMO Management, LLC, which are involved in real estate development, property management and construction. Holdings include retail space in Rohnert Park such as the building that houses Driven Raceway. SOMO Living also invests in natural-foods, technology and alternative-energy companies.
Montgomery Village Shopping Center in east Santa Rosa has been owned and operated for years by a different Codding, Hugh’s son David.
CONSTRUCTION AT SOMO VILLAGE
Plans for the undeveloped part of SOMO Village could be finalized by this summer to a point where deals could start being struck with homebuilders to build the units and work on infrastructure could begin, Baker said. A final development plan was submitted to the city of Rohnert Park last week, asking for a couple of amendments to development agreement the city green-lighted a few years ago.
The changes include more specificity on the locations of a water tank to serve multiple developments in the area, affordable-housing units and a fire station. Also in the works is a plan for a 30-acre buffer area between the planned development and a breeding pond a half-mile away for the protected California tiger salamander. These matters are set to be before the city Planning Commission on Thursday and City Council in May.
If approved, final maps for the development could go for a city OK by June then circulated to prospective builders, Baker said.
“We’d love to break ground this year, but a lot of infrastructure needs to be in place,” he said.