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Construction: Friedman’s store opening leads Petaluma center’s main phase

This article, written by Jeff Quackenbush, was originally published on May 5, 2014 in The North Bay Business Journal.

The planned opening of the 131,000-square-foot Friedman’s Home Improvement store on Friday leads several scheduled store openings at the new Deer Creek Village retail and office development in Petaluma this summer and fall.

Santa Rosa-based Friedman’s will have an 83,000-square-foot store, 32,000-square-foot nursery and greenhouse, and 35,000-square-foot dry shed for lumber and building supplies. The retailer started in Petaluma in 1946 and operated a store there until 1976. The store is the company’s fourth and is set to employ 140.

Interesting elements of the store include an automated lumber stacking system that moves materials on and off racks and lifts, “living walls” of plants on either side of the entrance and a nursery greenhouse with automatically operating roof shading and venting.

The opening of the anchor tenant for the 315,000-square-foot center brings Merlone Geier Partners’ seven-year development effort into a final phase, according to Greg Geertsen, managing partner. Merlone Geier acquired the property in August 2009. Proposals for a retail center there stretch back to 1994.

Under construction now are buildings that will house Habit Burger (set to open in late June), Togo’s (July), Mary’s Pizza Shack brewpub (August), and City Sports (likely in September). Negotiations for three other tenants in additional buildings on the property are in final stages.

So far, the $65 million center is 68 percent leased, Mr. Geertsen said.

Site work is set to be completed in four weeks, leaving pads for construction of other retail and office buildings on the property, located on 36.5 acres at the southwest corner of Rainier Avenue and North McDowell Boulevard adjacent to Highway 101.

San Rafael-based Ghilotti Construction is the site contractor. RMC Construction of Fresno is the general contractor. MCG Architects designed the project.

Also on the project team were 5280 Construction Management; Anza Environments; Hood Branded Environments; Freddie Freitas Jr. Construction, Petaluma; Rhodes Retail Services; The Graphc Source; Atteo’s Xtreme Installation Services, Rohnert Park; Dan Pendergraft; Mission Electric; Krauter Auto; Stacked Steel; Ross Clarke Material Handling; Ahlborn Steel, Santa Rosa; Expressway Transport, Petaluma; Blinds Direct, Petaluma; MVG Molded Products, Petaluma; Custom Design Countertops, Santa Rosa; Office Furniture World, Santa Rosa; Fishman Supply, Petaluma; The Ratto Group, Santa Rosa; Signal Solutions; and Fishpond Recruiting, Novato.***

As tenant improvements work toward the August opening of MacPhail Family Wines in a new location at The Barlow at the eastern entrance of Sebastopol, the new 12.5-acre commercial complex is welcoming four new tenants. Also, the first round of designs for a hotel in one of the buildings has been completed.

The 215,000 square feet of available space is 98 percent leased, with just 6,000 square feet in three spaces available, according to developer Barney Aldridge.

Chef Mark Hopper, former executive chef at Farmshop Marin and of casual dining for the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group brings his passion for handcrafted pizza to The Barlow with the launch of his first solo project: Vignette. The indoor-outdoor restaurant at 6750 McKinley St. will serve a Neapolitan-style pizza and seasonal or available antipasti with craft beers and wines.

Food truck caterer Ultra Crepes will be rolling into a permanent home at 6760 McKinley St., Ste. 120. It offers savory and sweet made-to-order crepes.

The Nectary juice bar at 6760 McKinley St., Ste. 130, will serve an assortment of delicious all-organic, fresh-pressed juices, “super food” smoothies and probiotic beverages accompanied by acai bowls and other living and raw food snacks and sweet treats.