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Patten Street fire station to go on the market

The City of Sonoma will be looking for a real estate professional to help dispose of the only non-housing property owned by its former redevelopment agency – the Patten Street Fire Station.

Acting as the Successor Agency, the Council on Monday unanimously approved the staff recommendation to hire a realtor to list the property for sale, market it and solicit offers from qualified buyers.

“I don’t see that we have any choice,” said Councilmember Steve Barbose. Other councilmembers echoed his sentiment, noting that choices allowed by the State Department of Finance are limited.

Other allowed options, outlined by Sonoma Planning Director David Goodison, included: retain for government use; retain for future development; or retain to fulfill an enforceable obligation. None of those options were considered viable. If the City kept the building for future use or future development, it would have to buy it back. Plus, there is no enforceable obligation for which it is needed. That left liquidation, which would provide the speediest solution and would get the highest value for the property—two requirements of the state.

“How much do you think a prospective buyer’s development plan will help decide who gets to buy it?” asked Mayor Ken Brown. Goodison answered that any purchase will have to be contingent on getting approvals and entitlements from approving bodies.

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