|By Robert Digitale, The Press Democrat,
Santa Rosa, Calif.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 26, 2011--Political lobbyist and innkeeper Darius Anderson is planning to build a $30 million boutique hotel near the Sonoma town plaza on land belonging to the owners of The Sonoma Index-Tribune.
Anderson and his wife Sarah, who together own Ramekins culinary school, inn and events center in Sonoma, want to develop the 50-room Chateau Sonoma partly as a way to provide more accommodations to their Ramekins guests.
"We lost a number of deals because of the lack of the number of hotel rooms that we could control in the area," Anderson said Tuesday.
Projected room rates are $450 to $480 a night, said Anderson, founder and CEO of Platinum Advisors, a Sacramento lobbying firm. Each room would be "one of a kind" with a French influence.
The couple has reached a tentative deal with Index-Tribune owners Bill and Jim Lynch to purchase land needed for the hotel for $2.3 million. The project would be built behind 117 and 135 W. Napa St., and includes the Chateau Sonoma antique store, which the Andersons own.
More than two decades ago, Anderson was an aide to former North Coast congressman Doug Bosco and later a fund-raising expert and finance chairman for former Gov. Gray Davis.
Anderson and his wife purchased the antique store about seven years ago and Ramekins three years ago, he said.
The hotel's completion depends upon obtaining city permits. The city review process is expected to take nine to 12 months, Anderson said. Subsequent construction would consume roughly 18 months.
If built, the three-story hotel would employ about 80 people and generate about $5.2 million in five years in new sales, property and hotel bed taxes, Anderson said.
Amenities would include a restaurant, lap pool and conference center, all on the third floor. Covered parking would be located on the ground floor. The company's antique store also would be housed at the hotel.
For the hotel, the Andersons will pursue a LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
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Copyright (c) 2011, The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif.
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