Santa Rosa’s historic Empire Building was sold for $2.2 million Friday to a partnership headed by developer Hugh Futrell, who has plans to turn the stately 1908 structure into a boutique hotel.
“I’m excited about the opportunity for downtown and my firm,” Futrell said Monday.
The iconic clock-tower-topped building had been owned for decades by members of a law firm that occupied the upper floors. It had been on the market for about two years, listed by broker Paul Schwartz of Terra Firma Global Partners.
Futrell, under the partnership 37 Courthouse Square LLC, snapped up the property after several other potential buyers failed to close escrow.
The sale price was 15 percent below the most recent $2.6 million listing price. Futrell recently completed the transformation of the former AT&T building into what is now the headquarters of Luther Burbank Savings. He’s betting that the reunification of Old Courthouse Square, now well underway, will help revitalize the downtown.
Schwartz also believes the $9.2 million project will be a catalyst for big changes downtown. He noted that the Third Street building housing Bank of America is on the market for $9 million.