The new downtown development in Rohnert Park at the old State Farm property is progressing on schedule and due to complete the demolition process shortly.
It’s called Station Avenue and it’s a $400 million project put forth by San Francisco based company Laulima Development that hopes to change the face of Rohnert Park. The project calls for a five-story luxury hotel, 270,000 square feet of commercial space and 460 new apartments on the 32-acre property across the street from the Raley’s Towne Centre. The Rohnert Park City Council approved the project at their Nov. 13th meeting.
Laulima expects to complete construction in the fall of 2020, but there’s a massive number of hurdles to work through before then—not least of which is a final permit approval by the Rohnert Park Planning Department.
“Right now if you were to describe the current phase we’re in, it’s the ‘Plan-Review Phase’,” Planning Department Manager, Jeffrey Beiswenger, said. “We need to review the plans for the buildings, we need to review the plans for the roads and then the city needs to review the plans before they can start digging up the dirt.”
Yet navigating bureaucratic labyrinths is what large companies like Laulima Development do best. At present, everything is progressing on schedule. Demolition contractors are knocking down the last couple walls and have only to remove the debris. That process has already begun. Next on the schedule are utilities. Because of the massive change in layout, most of the old State Farm sewer and gas lines are unusable and the current plan calls for a network of new streets. That’s what the construction will be focusing on in the coming weeks, and according to Beiswenger, the Rohnert Park Planning Department has already received permit applications for the sewer layout.
But when are the buildings coming?
There won’t be any vertical development until after April. That’s when Beiswenger expects his department to receive final applications for the project’s layout. Construction should begin after the final approval by the Plan Review Committee.
Even then though the Station Avenue Project will be a piecemeal development. Laulima plans to get the commercial section of the property up and running before they break ground on the new residential neighborhood.
“[Laulima] wants to build the whole thing, but in sequence they want to build commercial and then residential. It’s just easier that way,” Beiswenger said. “If they stay on their relatively aggressive schedule they’ll be doing some earth work this summer and into the fall. Later this year they could potentially be going vertical—or at least pouring foundations.