Southern California developer buys Sonoma Truck and Auto site

Owen Smith, owner of Sunlever Corporation, a Southern California development company, announced Thursday his purchase of the Sonoma Truck and Auto site at 870 Broadway.

Smith said in an emailed press release that the nearly-two-acre property, which has been largely vacant for more than a year, will be developed and managed by a new partnership called Sonoma Gateway Commons Ltd.

The partnership’s name, Smith announced, bespeaks the group’s intentions for the site.

“We chose the name, Sonoma Gateway Commons, to signify that the project must work, architecturally, as a gateway into downtown Sonoma and, in its use, as an amenity to the city’s citizens and visitors, alike,” Smith said. “Whatever direction we take, we will ensure that the re-development of the site remains true to Sonoma’s authentic character.”

Smith, who lives in Del Mar, said he and his un-named partners will work with city officials, neighbors and the community to determine the best use for the site, located at the corner of Broadway and MacArthur Street. The property is zoned for mixed use and during two separate community meetings held in January and February to solicit public feedback, Smith acknowledged plans could include some residential component – either a small hotel or apartments.

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