During the Santa Rosa City Council meeting on May 7, Mayor Scott Bartley voted to support the Museum on the Square project, as it segued from a mixed-use commercial and residential project to commercial only. The change was apparently driven by market forces that made the rental component infeasible. A decision was made to proceed with a scaled-back project but one that could be accomplished today in the realities of this still very flat market.
We support that choice and believe that developer Hugh Futrell will do first-rate work. However, during the same meeting the mayor said: “Somebody asked me why this is different than the Canners' project. This project, Mr. Futrell has invested a significant amount of his own money to make it happen. You have to respect that. So I think it's worth a try. I'm obviously in support.”
This statement leaves us incredulous since we've spent more than $7 million over the past 13 years on the Cannery site (3 W. Third St.); Plant 5 (60 W. Sixth St.) and the SMART-owned property. A breakdown was provided to Santa Rosa city staff in October 2011. All these funds are our own money not public funds.
The magnitude of these costs should not be new news since: