For sale again in Cloverdale: 267 acres of resort property

After the proposed $200 million-plus Alexander Valley Resort project fell through, the prime property is available again.|
The formerly proposed 254-acre Alexander Valley Resort, seen in the lower part of the image in brown grass, is now off the books and the property is being offered for sale again. (JOHN BURGESS / The Press Democrat)
January 18, 2017

For Sale: 267 acres in Cloverdale with approvals for building a resort hotel of up to 150 rooms, 40 bungalows, spa and restaurant, 130 homes, potential equestrian center, shops and stores.

That’s what’s available now that the $200 million-plus Alexander Valley Resort project has fallen through after a Jan. 3 deadline was not met for the transaction to close with the buyer, Laulima Development.

"At the last minute, for some apparent reason, Laulima decided it was not a project for them," Mayor Gus Wolter said Tuesday.

But he expressed faith another developer will be found for what is a potentially transformative project for Cloverdale that could create an estimated $1.7 million in hotel and bed taxes and help make Sonoma County’s northernmost city a tourist destination.

The owners of the site said other parties had expressed interest if the sale with Laulima fell through. Owners plan to interview several brokers with the intent of marketing the property nationally and internationally.

"There’s no other project in Sonoma (County) of this type, close to being entitled and with a development agreement," said Andrew Zamberlin, president of Diablo Commercial Properties, the agent for the owner, Spight Properties II.

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"It’s an incredible location," he said of the site at the southern end of Cloverdale south of Santana Drive, between Asti Drive and the Russian River, with views of the Mayacmas Mountains.

Concord-based Diablo Commercial, formerly Tyris Corp., known for building mountain top antennae, has owned the property for more than 16 years. It previously was the location of the Louisiana-Pacific wood-processing mill, and required extensive cleanup and environmental remediation for soil and groundwater contamination.

In 2009, Tyris obtained approval from the City Council to build a hotel resort and homes with a golf course, just as the recession took hold.

In 2015, Laulima Development announced plans to buy and develop the project with an equestrian center, initially demanding the city close nearby Cloverdale Airport, saying it was too close for the horses and guests.

But Laulima eventually backed off that requirement after it became apparent such a request by the city might be denied by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Laulima officials did not respond this week to requests for comment.

In early 2016 the owners of the property persuaded the city to drop the requirement for a golf course, saying they have become less commercially viable to build.

The City Council also approved adding on 12 adjoining acres owned by Tyris with a new "destination commercial" zoning to provide more of a revenue stream for developers of Alexander Valley Resort.

"We aren’t going to build this," Zamberlin said of his firm’s role. "Our job is to create a canvas on which (a developer) can take various paints approved by the city and put it on canvas."

Zamberlin acknowledged more than $24 million has been spent toward acquisition, cleanup and consultants.

No sale price has been set for the property.

You can reach Staff Writer Clark Mason at 707-521-5214 or [email protected]. On Twitter @clarkmas.

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