Developer eyes vacant land near Petaluma rail depot

An international development company has purchased three vacant acres near Petaluma's planned downtown train station, sparking discussion of what kind of development is appropriate at such a significant location.

Pacifica Companies, based in San Diego, has ventures in India, Latin America and in 22 states. It purchased the three acres at 215 Weller St. in December after local owners lost the property in foreclosure.

Several years ago a project called Haystack Marketplace proposed 100 residential units and a European-style shopping plaza with 45,000 square feet of commercial space, including an open-air market. But the project stalled after initial talks with the city.

Pacifica closed the deal Dec. 3 for $900,000, according to county property records.

Pacifica spokesman Scott Russell said plans for the site are very preliminary, but probably will include residential housing — condominiums or multi-family units — on the upper floors and mixed-use retail on the ground floor.

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