CornerStone deal falls apart

Despite statements to the contrary last February, a deal to purchase CornerStone Sonoma, the popular art-garden property on Highway 121 south of town, appears to have fallen through.

But the presumptive buyer, Walter Thompson of GenerX Real Estate Services, LLC, has not given up hope, stating in an email Thursday, “I have wonderful plans for CornerStone. I hope they work out.”

Details on the deal – including the negotiated price for the nine-acre property – have remained under wraps, and reasons for the snag were not disclosed. But rumors were swirling that the deal had collapsed – and that speculation was confirmed by CornerStone co-owner Teresa Raffo in an email to the Index-Tribune’s Kathleen Hill, stating that she and her partner Chris Houghie were “out of contract” with Thompson.

Founded 10 years ago by Raffo and Houghie, CornerStone was conceived as a “cultural and creative haven,” inspired by the International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire in France. It hosts nearly two-dozen rotating installations by renowned landscape artists, attracting garden aficionados, Sunday picnickers and everyone in between.

An estimated 100,000 people visited CornerStone last year, which is free to the public and open year-round.

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