After many months of community curiosity, and city review of several bids, August Sebastiani and his The Other Guys won approval from the City of Sonoma for their bid to purchase the former firehouse at Patten Street and Broadway (see news story at http://tinyurl.com/qx58k69).
The winning bid of $1,650,000 was announced at the end of the City Council’s June 23 meeting. Other finalists were Mann Property Company, Caymus Capital and Frank de Michele.
The Other Guys’ bid was for the building as-is, with no contingencies, meaning they can do almost whatever they want to with the space, as long as it passes various Sonoma boards and commissions.
But according to City Manager Carol Giovanatto, the bid still needs to be approved by the Sonoma Oversight Board to the former Sonoma Community Development Agency, which makes a recommendation to the State of California Finance Department. The latter department gives final approval because it has authority over the property since redevelopment was disbanded by the state.
According to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Point Reyes Light newspaper, Drakes Bay Oyster Company has been ordered by the federal government to “shut down the cannery and oyster shack and removed its personal property from the shores and waters of Drakes Estero,” as told to the paper by farm owner Kevin Lunny.
Apparently the “property” includes 20,000 oyster bags that contain millions of growing oysters. The Lunnys are negotiating with the Department of the Interior to be able to allow those oysters to mature, and to harvest and sell them.
Sonoma residents Audrey and Ron Chapman traveled to Drakes Bay on Monday, found an abundance of American flags around the company, and a constant stream of supportive customers.
Respected winemaker Peter Haywood has closed his elegant tasting room in “Vine Alley” on Napa Street.
Haywood says, “The number of tasting rooms near the square in Sonoma have tripled since we opened three years ago, dividing the new customer base which every retail tasting room depends on. The hot market which was good for the real estate business was bad for our business because it gave confidence to our landlady to more than double the rent.”
Haywood, a former president of Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance, will share tasting space in Oxbow Market in Napa. He continued, “The cost is right and having a Sonoma winery in Napa might just provoke some curiosity and spread the news of Sonoma’s great wines … and Hog Island Oysters are just a few steps away.”
Gloria Ferrer’s annual short trip to Spain via its Catalan Festival comes around this Saturday and Sunday, July 19 and 20, all to benefit the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, which received $15,000 from the festival last year. The winery also donates a portion of proceeds from each bottle sold of its gold medal-winning extra virgin olive oil, made from the winery’s estate-grown Catalan and Tuscan olives, to the foundation.
The Ferrer family of Spain launched the colorful and tasty event to celebrate opening the Sonoma winery in 1986, which is also the first Catalan-owned winery in California.