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New Basin Street property considered for Petaluma

Published: Monday, March 18, 2013 at 7:13 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 18, 2013 at 7:13 a.m.

An economic analysis of another large mixed-use development proposed in Petaluma estimates the project will generate more than $600,000 annually in net financial benefits to the city once it's built.

Riverfront is a Basin Street Properties proposal that includes 273 residential units, 90,000 square feet of commercial space, a 120-room hotel and seven acres of open space on a vacant 39 acres west of Highway 101 between Hopper Street and the Petaluma River.

Much of that revenue would come from the city's hotel tax on overnight visitors, according to a city- mandated fiscal and economic impact analysis conducted by Keyser Marston Associates. FEIA reports have been required in Petaluma since 2008 to measure large projects' effects on the local economy, employment and existing businesses.

Riverfront is laid out with office space at the entrance, then the hotel, followed by various retail spaces surrounding an oval “central green” in the middle of the property, next to a park with a soccer field. The housing includes 100 apartments and 39 townhouses near the front and 134 single-family dwellings situated toward the river.

The homes are expected to range from 1,200 to 2,300 square feet, and six of the townhouses will be live-work spaces. The 60,000 square feet of office space is configured in a three-story building.

No specific restaurant or retail tenants were identified, but the report said likely tenants could include service businesses like nail and hair salons, dry cleaners and cafes.

The hotel is expected to be similar to a Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn or Marriott Courtyard.

Annual net benefits to the city's general fund, which is the primary fund used to pay for city services and employees' wages, are expected to be just over $200,000 a year.

The report estimated that the Riverfront residents, employees and hotel guests will generate $1.4 million in sales to Riverfront retailers. With projected total sales of $5.1 million, the other $3.7 million would take away from existing Petaluma retailers, the report concludes.

One-time development-impact fees of $22 million would be required. Those are meant to offset the project's use of city infrastructure, such as streets, wastewater and other public services.

Developers are also expected to include between $13 million and $15 million worth of public improvements, including emergency vehicle access to the site, and other upgrades to roads, bicycle paths, greenbelts and the waterfront.

The report estimates the project's restaurants, offices, retail stores, hotel and apartments will add about 520 full-time-equivalent permanent jobs. Construction of the development itself will support about 1,950 temporary full-time jobs.

The report estimates the mean annual wage for project-related jobs would be $55,000. The mean annual wage for all occupations in the Santa Rosa-Petaluma area in 2012 was $50,000, according to the Economic Development Department.

The public can make comments on the report through April 1, when the city council will review the report. The report can be downloaded from the city's website.

The project proposal is set to go before the planning commission this summer or fall.

You can reach Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 762-7297 or lori.carter@pressdemocrat.com.

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