Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

What are you going to do with it?

Downtown may include a combination of market rate and affordable housing, recreational uses such as a plaza, independent restaurants, and some retail and office space. A hotel is a key component.

We will consider the lessons from prior efforts to develop the property in our update of the plans. We are currently revising the previous 2019 urban design plan, balancing the need for market rate and affordable housing while providing a downtown retail core where people can shop, eat, drink, and enjoy the amenities of downtown Rohnert Park.

When will we have a new downtown?

Building the downtown will likely occur in phases, starting with housing. 

The planning phase is scheduled to be completed in early 2023. We are projecting the first start of construction to happen in summer 2024, with the first completion occurring in 2027.

How is the City paying for this?

Prudent fiscal management has put the City in a position to make this investment in our future. We are using a surplus in the City’s General Fund for this year and cash on hand.

The $12.5 million that the City is paying is considerably less than the $20 million value based on August, 2021 appraisal.

We will explore opportunities for state grants to off-set some of the costs of development. The state is encouraging housing projects near transit.

How did the City come to buy the property?

The prior owner (Laulima Development) contacted us to explore the City’s interest in purchasing the property.

What are the next steps?

As of September 2022, we are in the middle of the urban design planning phase. We hired an urban design consultant to assist with the urban design services and review the previous downtown plans.

The retail and office environment has changed post-COVID and it was important to determine whether the previous designs were still relevant; additionally, the City is conducting in-depth retail and economic analysis to ensure we have the right retail and amenities for downtown Rohnert Park. The City is committed to building market-rate and affordable housing.