Construction on a Sebastopol development that aims to bring together local vintners, food makers and artists began Wednesday, a day after the project received a $23.5 million construction loan from Wells Fargo Bank.

The Barlow, a 220,000-square-foot complex of about a dozen commercial structures, is being developed on the site that formerly housed the Barlow Apple Factory, near the intersection of Highway 12 and Morris Street.

The construction project will employ an estimated 100 or more workers through local subcontractors, developer Barney Aldridge said. Demolition crews will save some of the original walls of the old apple facility. The first phase of construction originally was to be completed by Jan. 1, but financing difficulties

delayed the project, Aldridge said. Now, the goal is to complete construction by July or August.

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