Council eyes disposition of Patten St. fire station

The disposition of the old fire station at 32 Patten St. will be taken up by the Sonoma City Council Monday, Sept. 16. The council meets at 6 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room at 177 First St. W.

Acting as the Successor Agency to the former Redevelopment Agency, the panel will review options specified under the law, and decide whether to keep the property for a governmental use, retain it for future development, retain it to fulfill an enforceable obligation, or sell it. Staff is recommending a sale, working with a real estate professional to secure the best price.

The property is zoned mixed use. Objectives for the property set forth in the general plan and other city documents state that it should serve as a gateway to the Plaza, and as an anchor to the Plaza business district; that it should stimulate pedestrian-oriented activity; that it should be attractive and compatible with the character of the community; that it utilize environmentally-friendly principles, and that it should include revenue-generating activities.

Located in the Historic Overlay Zone, the structure came close to being sold to Foothill Partners just prior to the recent elimination of redevelopment agencies in California. The property had previously been sold by the city at the height of the real estate boom to its Community Development Agency in 2006 for $2.8 million. Current value of the property, according to its most recent assessed valuation, is $825,000, reflecting the economic downturn in property values, and the fact that it will most likely not be developed for its highest and best use based on neighborhood concerns.

If the council approves the staff recommendation, the Successor Agency will retain a qualified real estate professional to list the property for sale, market it, and solicit offers from qualified buyers.

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