Emiliana Martinez | October 2nd, 2018.

Final Approvals For Rohnert Park Downtown Coming Next Month

 

Station Avenue, Rohnert Park’s new downtown, is in the works and the final approval for the project development will be voted on early November by the city council of Rohnert Park. While many anxiously wait for the new downtown area, there is still some work to be done by Laulima Development in order to complete the project.

 

Nonetheless, this project is something that is supposed to benefit both students and residents of Rohnert Park. “There are a lot of things that make a great University Downtown,” David Bouquillon, president of Laulima Developments said, “whether it’s feeling the palpable vibe of an alma mater, having tons to do, or the fact that your university town is a great place to stay after you’ve graduated.  The opportunity exist to be considered along other cool college downtowns like Palo Alto, San Luis Obispo, Davis, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Claremont, Chico and Santa Barbara, to name a few.”

 

He also noted that the addition of  the SMART train allows people to jump north to Healdsburg or south to the Larkspur ferry for a boat ride into San Francisco.  “Not many college students have that type of  option available,” he said.

 

Building such a large and multipurpose space will potentially present certain challenges for both the city and the developer. Bouquillon explained, “As with many Bay Area, large scale construction projects, controlling costs as a developer causes potential challenges. Last year’s wildfires were devastating to many people and their families where the rebuilding process puts strains on the available labor from the building trades.”  The construction company contracted to build downtown planned for these issues early on.

 

The developer is confident that the project will overcome these challenges, saying, “We’ve been planning this development for over a year and we’ve put our most forward thinking into every detail.  We’re confident with an early November approval vote by the City Council we can meet our Fall 2020 grand opening.”

 

City council member Jake Mackenzie said that, “a good working relationship,” exists between the developer and the city of Rohnert Park.

 

In addition, Bouquillon said, “Collectively, our team has many years of experience working with other California cities.” The developers and the city of Rohnert Park have been collaborating closely on this project.

 

“This project is expected to be done by the year 2020,” Bouquillon said “We anticipate demolition of the exiting 300,000-square-foot vacant building to begin shortly after the formal city council vote anticipated for early November.”

 

The construction will begin shortly after they get the correct permits as Mackenzie said  the only two things that the developer still needs are “planning commission and city council approvals.”  Laulima Development is confident they will attain these permits

 

Councilmember Mackenzie mentioned that, “Sonoma State did not have a central role. I don’t believe, but do not know, if they have commented on earlier versions of Laulima plans.”

 

The president of the project developer made it very clear that Sonoma State was taken into consideration in the developing of this project. “Absolutely, the University is not only a major employer, but it’s 10,000-plus students and almost 2,000 faculty members are a tremendous draw for quality shops, restaurants, and entertainment businesses.” Bouquillon said “The university is part of the fabric of the community as well as the downtown.  We envision a vibrant walkable streetscape that you can tell classes are in session with a quick glance at the mix of people coming and going at Station Avenue.”

 

Sonoma State student and Rohnert Park resident Christina Oliver said, “I am excited to have a new downtown that offers easy and accessible transportation around the Bay Area” She explained that she was from further down in the bay area and she is excited to have an easier form of transportation to commute back home if necessary.

 

Students, the developer, and city council members are all hopeful and excited to see the new downtown come to life in the heart of Rohnert Park. Mackenzie said, “Overall , it’s clear that a well-executed plan will benefit Rohnert Park and Sonoma State and other parts of Sonoma County as another attractive community center.”

 

Bouquillon said, “In our view the downtown is everyone’s downtown and the university students and facility should feel like it’s an extension of the university.  We strongly believe Station Avenue will be a catalyst for future development’s that will in some ways compete with other larger Bay Area cities and keep their locally trained grads in Rohnert Park and the North Bay.”

Emiliana Martinez | September 18th, 2018.

Rohnert Park Downtown Still In The Works

 

Rohnert Park is only two short years away from having a luxury downtown area that will offer housing, office spaces, dining and shopping. Citizens and students are eager to experience the space. “Station Avenue is a unique opportunity for the city of Rohnert Park to develop a downtown for everyone,” the mayor of the city of Rohnert Park, Pam Stafford said. “It is offering us the chance to have housing near the rail line and a downtown with living, working, shopping and restaurants.”

 

The website for this development explained a little more about this area, “As the premier development in Rohnert Park’s new downtown, Station Avenue, a 32-acre mixed-use transit oriented development, is designed around the 18-hour day – where life doesn’t stop before, during, or after work. Station Avenue will celebrate its grand opening in fall 2020.” This development should be a big change for the city, which currently has no downtown.

 

Station Avenue will offer a new downtown experience for Rohnert Park citizens and visitors.

 

City council members are excited to introduce this new establishment. “The City is very excited to have this wonderful opportunity to work with a company with a great reputation in developing beautiful and suitable properties,” Stafford said.

 

As of now, Cotati is the closest thing that residents of Rohnert Park would consider to be their downtown.

 

“I would love to see a nice downtown area especially being a student at SSU, it would make the town have a more “college” town feeling,” Alexa Woo a junior at Sonoma State, said. “Having a college town experience was something that I felt I had to sacrifice when choosing SSU so building a downtown area where this could be created, would then give that feeling to future SSU students which would essentially make the university much more enticing when choosing colleges.” she also said “I am excited, even though I will be graduated I still can’t wait to see what it brings to Rohnert Park.”

 

This new downtown experience will help connect the city to all the destinations the new SMART train currently travels through. Having a station right at the heart of Rohnert Park will help connect the residents and student residents to jobs, education and shopping, according to the Station Avenue website. The mayor of Rohnert Park said “The SMART train will eventually reach the city of Cloverdale north.” this expansion of the SMART train railway will help connect Rohnert Park with the Bay Area, and other cities throughout Northern California.

 

“The property that this project is being developed on is independently owned, and does not belong to the City of Rohnert Park. It was for many years the regional offices for State Farm Insurance. When they closed and left they sold the property to a developer who failed to do anything with the property,” Stafford said. “Last year it was sold to Laulima who are proposing the development for a downtown.”

 

The opportunities that this new downtown will offer are varied, with the large area to work with. According to the website “As the heart of Rohnert Park’s new walkable downtown, Station Avenue will feature a curated mix of 130,000 square feet of cafes, restaurants, specialty retail shops, entertainment and essential service in an environment never before experienced in Sonoma County.”

 

Station Avenue will provide opportunities for students and other members of the community to find new jobs and housing. “This development will benefit students because it will give them an opportunity to live and work in a walkable space. There will be many job opportunities for students and others because of the office, retail and restaurants that will be part of this,” Stafford said

 

Sonoma State student Alexa Woo said “I think more job opportunities are a necessity especially around a college. Having a downtown area where there are more opportunities would get students much more involved with the community making us all more knowledgeable about Rohnert Park and excited about events happening here.”

 

The Station Avenue website provides a countdown till the opening of the development and today it marks 24 months and 12 days. Yet, according to the city mayor, “There is no specific date for the opening since they haven’t received the final approvals for the development.”

Julie Littman | July 3rd, 2018.

Developer Plans To Build Rare Transit-Oriented Development In North Bay

 

Laulima Development has proposed one of the first North Bay developments to take the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit train stations into consideration. Its Station Avenue mixed-use project will create a transit-oriented development at the Rohnert Park SMART station in a city largely dependent on cars.

 

Transit-oriented development is slowly becoming sought after in the North Bay now that it has a new means of public transportation via the SMART train. Santa Rosa and Petaluma also are considering updated transit-oriented area plans. ROEM Development bought land from SMART near the downtown Santa Rosa station in 2017 with plans to build an $85M housing project.

 

Laulima’s Station Avenue will have 130K SF of retail focused on a town square, 120K SF of office, 415 apartments and townhomes and a 156-room hotel. To date, retailers have pre-leased 40% of the available retail space.

 

“Rohnert Park has certainly caught the attention of many high-quality restaurateurs and retailers,” Laulim Development President, Director of Development David Bouquillon said in a statement. “They view Station Avenue as a rare chance to locate within an exciting new downtown — one that is surrounded by housing, offices, restaurants, public amenities and, most importantly, a regional transit option.”

 

Depending on city approvals, construction could begin at the end of 2018 and be completed by Q3 2020. The mixed-use development is on the former State Farm Insurance campus on 32 acres at 6400 State Farm Drive.

 

 Cushman & Wakefield is handling office leasing efforts.

The Registry | June 22nd, 2018.

Rohnert Park Mixed-Use Development Sets Vision for Project

 

Rohnert Park, CA – Today Laulima Development launched www.StationAveRP.com, a comprehensive website to showcase the Station Avenue redevelopment project at the former State Farm Insurance campus. Located on 32 acres south of Rohnert Park Expressway at 6400 State Farm Drive, Station Avenue reimagines the site as a walkable destination, connecting the Rohnert Park SMART station with a vibrant mix of commercial, retail, residential, and public gathering spaces.

 

“Station Avenue is the culmination of years of hard work by the City and residents of Rohnert Park to create a thriving Downtown area,” stated David Bouquillon of Laulima Development. “With its transit rich location and diverse collection of uses, Station Avenue represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create something that is truly special for the community.”

 

Station Avenue will feature 130,000 square feet of retail focused on a bustling town square, 120,000 square feet of office, and 415 apartments and townhomes and a future 156-key hotel. Early indications show a strong interest among potential tenants in having a presence at Station Avenue. To date, retailers have shown interest in pre-leasing approximately 40 percent of the available retail space, which demonstrates an incredibly high demand for a project in its early stages.

 

“Rohnert Park has certainly caught the attention of many high-quality restaurateurs and retailers,” added Bouquillon. “They view Station Avenue as a rare chance to locate within an exciting new Downtown – one that is surrounded by housing, offices, restaurants, public amenities and, most importantly, a regional transit option. You can’t find that anywhere else in the North Bay.”

 

Depending on the timing of City approvals, construction of Station Avenue could start by the end of 2018 and be completed in the end of third quarter in 2020. The public is encouraged to sign up for updates at www.StationAveRP.com to receive the latest news and information about the project.

 

About Laulima Development
Founded by development partners David Bouquillon and Jes Slavik, Laulima Development is a privately owned real estate investment and development company engaged in the acquisition, development and operations of unique properties, primarily in the western United States. Known as premier developers of mixed-use, residential, retail and office properties, Laulima partners and professionals have collectively lead the developed of more than 6 million square feet, including some of the most innovative and distinctive properties in California. Laulima brings years of experience to each development, grounded in the company’s commitment to integrity, innovation and quality. Learn more at www.laulima-dev.com.

Business Journal | June 19th, 2018.

SF developer wants to bring transit village to car-dominated North Bay

 

San Francisco-based Laulima Development is moving forward with big plans to create a thriving downtown district in Rohnert Park.

 

The firm’s proposal would be one of the first to embrace transit-oriented development on the region’s SMART Train light rail system that started up in 2017 and connects Sonoma and Marin counties.

Laulima, led by David Bouquillon and Jes Slavik, calls for 415 homes, 130,000 square feet of retail, 120,000 square feet of office space, a 156-key hotel and a new town square.

 

According to the North Bay Business Journal, Laulima bought a former State Farm Insurance campus for $13.5 million late last year. The 32-acre campus has been vacant since the company left in 2011.

“With its transit-rich location and diverse collection of uses, Station Avenue represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create something that is truly special for the community,” Bouquillon said in a statement.

 

The developer still needs city approval to move forward, but expects the massive project, dubbed Station Avenue, to open in fall of 2020.

Kevin Fixler | June 12th, 2018.

Developer expands proposal for Rohnert Park downtown district at former State Farm campus

 

The developer pitching an extensive redevelopment project in central Rohnert Park is seeking to both expand and accelerate its aspirations to create a vibrant downtown hub along the city’s commuter rail station.

 

Station Avenue, formerly called Rohnert Station, envisions a mixed-use development that would include homes, offices, retail shops and a hotel on a 32-acre campus just south of Rohnert Park Expressway. The sprawling, 320,000-square-foot facility was previously occupied by State Farm Insurance but has sat vacant since the company left in 2011.

 

Laulima Development, the San Francisco-based developer who bought it for $13.5 million last December, intends to submit its final development application to the city in the coming weeks.

It seeks to increase the combined amount of office and retail space to 250,000 square feet — a more than 40 percent expansion from an initial proposal — at least partly in response to high levels of interest from prospective tenants.

 

“For us, if we really want to create a meaningful downtown — that sense of place — we need that critical mass,” said David Bouquillon, managing partner of Laulima. “Early on, it was light. We’re always try to balance for that perfect ratio.”

 

The new downtown district, located next to the city’s existing SMART train commuter platform, also would include 415 units of market-rate housing spread across 150 for-sale homes and the remaining number in above-office rental lofts and apartments. While that total is unchanged from the earlier plans, the new layout also makes room for a new 156-room hotel to be built by a partner developer.

 

“We’ve been getting a lot of demands for hotels, and it piqued our interest,” Bouquillon said. “We found a way to make it work and it adds to the urban downtown, so we put that in the application.”

As part of the announcement last week, the company unveiled a new website with design renderings, a site plan, as well as a countdown to completion.

 

It is seeking to finish core elements of the project — the five-story buildings for retail, office space and apartments, plus the city square with green spaces and other pedestrian-focused public amenities — by the fall of 2020. The hotel and balance of housing are expected to be finished not long thereafter.

“There is no question the project is ambitious and they have an aggressive timeline,” said Zach Tusinger, a housing and economic development planner for the city. “We’ll move through it as quickly as possible, but certainly process it and make sure everything is complete.”

 

In order to hit its projected schedule, which targets a pre-holiday timetable for the benefit of future retailers, Laulima is shooting for city approval by the middle of September. That requires moving quickly through the environmental analyses and also receiving parks and planning commission approvals before it heads to the City Council.

 

By the end of the year, demolition of the existing structure would take place over the course of about a month and a half, Bouquillon said. Crews would then mobilize to construct roads and install infrastructure while the company obtains necessary building permits to go vertical.

 

The City Council decided in April to exempt development in the downtown area from a new fee on developers of rental housing to help fund future affordable units.

Press Release | June 7th, 2018.

Vision for Downtown Rohnert Park to be fulfilled in Station Ave Project

 

Laulima Development unveils new website with architectural renderings, detailed site plan, and the key next steps for long-awaited Downtown Rohnert Park project.

 

Rohnert Park, CA – Today, Laulima Development launched www.StationAveRP.com, a comprehensive website to showcase the Station Ave redevelopment project at the former State Farm Insurance campus. Located on 32 acres south of Rohnert Park Expressway at 6400 State Farm Drive, Station Ave reimagines the site as a walkable destination, connecting the Rohnert Park SMART station with a vibrant mix of commercial, retail, residential, and public gathering spaces.

 

“Station Ave is the culmination of years of hard work by the City and residents of Rohnert Park to create a thriving Downtown area,” stated David Bouquillon of Laulima Development. “With its transit-rich location and diverse collection of uses, Station Ave represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create something that is truly special for the community.”

 

Station Avenue will feature 120,000 square feet of retail focused on a bustling town square, 130,000 square feet of office, and 415 apartments and townhomes. Early indications show a strong interest among potential tenants in having a presence at Station Ave. To date, Laulima has had discussions with retailers to pre-lease 40 percent of the available retail space, which demonstrates an incredibly high demand for a project in its early stages.

 

“Rohnert Park has certainly caught the attention of many high quality retailers,” added Bouquillon. “They view Station Ave as a rare chance to locate within an exciting new Downtown – one that is surrounded by housing, offices, restaurants, public amenities, and most importantly, a regional transit option. You can’t find that anywhere else in the North Bay.”

 

Depending on the timing of City approvals, construction of Station Ave could start in the first quarter of 2019 and be completed in the end of third quarter in 2020. Interested residents are encouraged to sign up for periodic updates at www.StationAveRP.com to receive the latest news and information about the project.

 

About Laulima Development

 

Founded by development partners David Bouquillon and Jes Slavik, Laulima Development is a privately owned real estate investment and development company engaged in the acquisition, development and operations of unique properties primarily in the Western United States. Known as premier developers of mixed-use, residential, retail and office properties, Laulima partners and professionals have collectively developed over 10 million square feet, including some of the most innovative and distinctive properties in California. We bring our years of experience to each development, all of which reflect the company’s commitment to integrity, innovation and quality. Learn more at www.laulima-dev.com.

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