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Timing, funding of Saggio Hills development remains uncertain

Financing continues to remain elusive for construction of Saggio Hills, the $310 million resort hotel and luxury home development approved on the northern edge of Healdsburg.

In an annual update for the stalled project, developer Robert S. Green was unable to predict when the money might be obtained, or when ground might be broken.

But he said his company remains dedicated to developing the 130-room "world-class" resort and 70 custom-built homes.

Although the market is improving, Green said, lenders are still reluctant to engage in new construction for high-end hotels.

"It still may be some time before they are willing to provide financing at terms that make (a) new full service or luxury project viable to move forward," he wrote in a letter to Healdsburg Planning Director Barbara Nelson.

Despite the uncertainty, the City Council on Monday night cast a 5-0 vote finding Green's company, Sonoma Luxury Resort LLC, is in "good faith compliance" with its development agreement with the city.

The agreement is for a term of 12 years. It allows the resort and homes to be built on the condition developers also construct a fire substation, public and private trails, provide land for affordable housing and a 38-acre community park.

Green was not present at Monday's meeting. But Vice-Mayor Jim Wood said afterwards, "I think it will be built. I think it will take longer than anticipated."

Wood said he spoke with Green last month and the developer "said he was looking at ways to move the project forward."

In his letter dated March 18, Green was equally vague about timing for both the residential and hotel segments of Saggio Hills.

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