Bay Area/ North SF Bay Area/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on September 14, 2023
State Grants $9.5M for Santa Rosa's Downtown Housing RevivalSource: City of Santa Rosa

The City of Santa Rosa has recently been awarded a $9.5 million grant from the California Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) to support the pre-development of two city-owned surplus parking lots in the 600 to 700 blocks of Third Street. The grant aims to help address the need for more housing in Santa Rosa's downtown area, aligning with the City Council's pro-housing goals. According to the City of Santa Rosa press release, the funds will be used for site preparation and construction of essential infrastructure such as utilities, sidewalks, and bike paths.

In 2022, the City-owned Whitehouse lot and Garage 5, both located on Third Street, were deemed underutilized parcels and designated as surplus by the City Council. In accordance with the Surplus Lands Act requirements, the City then issued Notices of Availability on the lots and has since received multiple bids from developers eager to build housing on these sites. The grant will fund pre-development work, which may include the demolition of an existing parking structure and surface parking lots, utility upgrades, new roads, parks and landscaping, concrete work, and an urban greening initiative.

The pre-development plan also highlights the inclusion of walking and bike paths, aiming to create more accessibility and ease of movement for residents. The project's lighting elements ensure residents' safety, fostering a sense of community throughout the development. At a September 12 City Council meeting, Council members approved entering exclusive negotiation agreements with the top bidders, as mandated by the Surplus Lands Act requirements.