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Garage Five at Third and D streets in downtown Santa Rosa could soon be on the market.
photo credit: Noah Abrams

New mixed-use developments may be in downtown Santa Rosa’s future. The city is looking at selling off surplus property to jump start the process. 

The Santa Rosa City council moved forward this week on encouraging a new building effort. First up is to sell off the city parking garage on the corner of Third and D Streets, called Garage 5. The oldest downtown parking structure with over three million dollars’ worth of deferred maintenance could be declared surplus and sold. 

Jill Scott is Santa Rosa’s real estate manager.

“We do know that more housing is needed throughout our city,” Scott told the city council. “And specifically in the downtown, staff really believes that Garage Five is currently likely the best opportunity to launch a market test for redevelopment of city assets.”

But some in the business community voiced concerns over the planned redevelopment. Natalie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing Company said her company’s Fourth Street location uses one of the city parking lots for their forklift and brewing operations.

“Vinnie and I need to replace our brew house in the next few years, and we would need to access the tanks inside of the brewery using large cranes,” Cilurzo said during public comment. “And that can only be done from the back.”

Councilmember Victoria Fleming acknowledged concerns of disruption to businesses, but agreed with her colleagues that adding housing to downtown could benefit those same businesses in the long term.  

“We know that bringing affordable and market rate housing downtown will bolster our business community,” Fleming said. “But in that process, the truth on the ground is that it is difficult.

The city council agreed to start exploring the sale of the Garage 5 property.

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