Basin Street Properties, the Petaluma-based development firm that transformed downtown and helped establish the city as a telecom hub, is relocating its headquarters to Reno, officials said Tuesday.
The move will give the company better growth potential and the chance to diversify its holdings throughout the western United States, President Matt White said.
About 20 employees will remain to oversee Sonoma County properties, while the companys finance, accounting, leasing and marketing departments will go, starting Aug. 17, White said.
Its been an incredibly difficult decision. We love Petaluma, said White, whose father Bill White founded the company in 1974. But I have to separate the emotional attachment with the basic realities of running a business.
Elected officials said they were disappointed but not surprised.
White moved his family to the Lake Tahoe area about four years ago and he has been commuting to the area by plane, Petaluma City Councilman Mike Healy said.
Although the firm was successful in developing the $100 million Theater District and luring high-tech companies, it has been frustrated in more recent efforts, Healy said.
Plans for redevelopment of its Golden Eagle shopping center on the Petaluma River proved unworkable, and its Riverfront mixed-use project was stymied, Healy said.
This has been in works for a long time, said Healy. I hope they remain engaged. They are still a major player in town.
White said local politics played no role in the decision. But he said he was wary of the fiscal morass in Sacramento and the lack of predictability for small business in the state.
He had no reservations about investing in Nevada, which the Kaiser Family Foundation rated Tuesday as the most distressed economy in the nation.
What Nevada defines as dire and California defines as dire are two different things, White said. Nevada is in a much better situation than California.