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Wednesday meeting eyes future of Truck and Auto site

A public meeting to discuss the future of the Sonoma Truck and Auto site, at 870 Broadway in Sonoma, has been scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the Sonoma Community Center.

The meeting has been called by Owen Smith, a Southern California developer and real estate broker who has an interest in the site that has been the subject of widespread speculation since the former Sonoma Truck and Auto business closed.

Smith said on Tuesday that representatives from the San Francisco architecture firm Bull Stockwell Allen will be on hand to discuss possible uses for the site, but he denied that a hotel has been formally planned.

“We want to present a variety of options and get feedback from the public,” Smith said. He did not rule out the possibility of a hotel, but said other uses could include town homes, condominiums, office space and other mixed-use projects.

Smith earlier represented well-known boutique hotel developer Richard Kessler, of the Kessler Collection, who made inquiries about a hotel project on the site last year but decided the property presented too many challenges. Kessler subsequently proposed a four-story, block-long hotel just south of the Healdsburg Plaza, but city officials there raised too many objections and Kessler abandoned the idea.

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