A former Petaluma lumber yard that the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit district wants as a future Corona Road commute rail station will be auctioned off at a foreclosure sale.

SMART's board of directors has directed its staff to enter a bid when the auction is held July 21 at the Petaluma Community Center.

"We have a piece of foreclosed property we may be able to purchase, saving us a huge amount of money," said Valerie Brown, SMART chairwoman.

The 6.5-acre site at Corona Road and North McDowell Boulevard has an assessed value of $824,069, according to Sonoma County records.

The mortgage and interest due is $925,000, according to Robert Cullen of Redwood Trust Deed Services Inc. of Santa Rosa, which has been hired by the group of private lenders to conduct the sale.

The owners are Larry and Robin Drew and Clinton and Patricia Gow, according to county records.

The lumber yard has been identified in SMART's plans for its Corona Road station, although as a cost-cutting measure the station is being deferred as part of the commute line's initial line from Railroad Square in Santa Rosa to downtown San Rafael.

"That station was deferred from initial segment, but the intent was still to have a station there," said John Nemeth, SMART's rail planning manager.

The commute rail district has been working to close a $109 million funding shortage in its plan to build a line from Railroad Square in Santa Rosa to downtown San Rafael.

The SMART board has identified $88 million in cost-saving measures, including deferring building the Corona Road station. It is also seeking $21 million from Sonoma and Marin counties' transportation authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

However, those estimates could change after a review of cost and revenue projections that currently is under way by Fahrad Mansourian, SMART's temporary executive director.