Riverside mixed-use development slated for Amy’s Kitchen HQ

A former cement plant site may soon welcome Amy’s Kitchen, one of Petaluma’s most recognizable companies, as developers craft a mixed-use project along the river.|

A mixed-use riverside development that will house a new headquarters for Amy’s Kitchen and up to 275 housing units is moving forward, a significant infill development project that could revitalize a vacant industrial site.

The 39-acre parcel, formerly the Pomeroy cement plant, sits along Hopper Street and is surrounded by COTS Mary Isaak Center, the SMART rail line and the City’s corporation yard. Its riverside boundary along the Petaluma River faces the McNear Channel and Steamer Landing.

International real estate developer Scannell Properties, headquartered in Indiana, is the owner and developer of the parcel. Petaluma Deputy Planning Manager Brittany Bendix said the developer has partnered with Amy’s Kitchen to facilitate the site construction for its new corporate headquarters on a section of the parcel.

As with many development projects, its timeline has been slightly shifted due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and shelter-in-place order, which moved the city’s operations to an essential services model and severely impacted the economy.

“When this project was submitted earlier this, year, there was a lot of motivation to get it started, but we’ve definitely faced some timing challenges because of the pandemic,” Bendix said.

Approximately 10 acres of the site is to go toward commercial use, specifically to host the Petaluma-founded food company Amy’s Kitchen.

Early plans outline four buildings, one that doubles as a parking garage, and a total of 400 parking space.

Roughly 19 acres is to go toward a housing development project, which could see up to 275 residential units including 80 apartments, 95 single-family motor court homes and 100 townhomes. Bendix said the developer is in talks with an affordable housing developer, Bay Area-based Eden Housing, to build on-site affordable units.

About 10 acres along the Petaluma River acres will be dedicated as a public open space, rounding out the total 39.22-acre parcel.

The project’s affordable housing component is certain to attract scrutiny and public attention, especially as the city braces for new state requirements meant to accelerate construction of units geared toward low-income earners.

Petaluma engineer Dave Alden, founder of a land use discussion group and a vocal land use advocate, said he will be keeping an eye on the residential project’s density and on projected timelines.

“I think there’s a problem getting residential off the ground in this town, so it’s reasonable to think that in five years we could have an Amy’s corporate center at this site but have bare land next to it where housing might go one day,” Alden said.

A proposed extension of Caulfield Lane across the city-owned corporation yard is to provide primary access to the residential units, according to the staff report submitted to the Pedestrian & Bicycle Committee last week.

The committee contributed input for the project’s bicycle and pedestrian paths last week. Staff is currently working on initiating environmental review of the proposed mixed-use project. Bendix said planning staff is aiming to complete the project proposal for further pubic review, including a presentation to the city’s Planning Commission, sometime this fall.

(Contact Kathryn Palmer at kathryn.palmer@arguscourier.com, on Twitter @KathrynPlmr.)

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