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SMART hopes to buy Petaluma station site at foreclosure sale

Aerial view of the SMART station site off Corona Road (BING MAPS)


A former Petaluma lumber yard that the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit district wants as a future Corona Road commute rail station will be auctioned off at a foreclosure sale.

SMART’s board of directors has directed its staff to enter a bid when the auction is held July 21 at the Petaluma Community Center.

“We have a piece of foreclosed property we may be able to purchase, saving us a huge amount of money,” said Valerie Brown, SMART chairwoman.

The 6.5-acre site at Corona Road and North McDowell Boulevard has an assessed value of $824,069, according to Sonoma County records.

The mortgage and interest due is $925,000, according to Robert Cullen of Redwood Trust Deed Services Inc. of Santa Rosa, which has been hired by the group of private lenders to conduct the sale.

The owners are Larry and Robin Drew and Clinton and Patricia Gow, according to county records.

The lumber yard has been identified in SMART’s plans for its Corona Road station, although as a cost-cutting measure the station is being deferred as part of the commute line’s initial line from Railroad Square in Santa Rosa to downtown San Rafael.

“That station was deferred from initial segment, but the intent was still to have a station there,” said John Nemeth, SMART’s rail planning manager.

The commute rail district has been working to close a $109 million funding shortage in its plan to build a line from Railroad Square in Santa Rosa to downtown San Rafael.

The SMART board has identified $88 million in cost-saving measures, including deferring building the Corona Road station. It is also seeking $21 million from Sonoma and Marin counties’ transportation authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

However, those estimates could change after a review of cost and revenue projections that currently is under way by Fahrad Mansourian, SMART’s temporary executive director.

2 Responses to “SMART hopes to buy Petaluma station site at foreclosure sale”

  1. Another Fine Mess says:

    With the not so SMART board scrambling to fill millions into the SMART deficit and bottomless money pit, they have a million or more to spend on a land purchase. A land purchase that they are not going to develop into a SMART something because they don’t have the money for the land development.

    Common sense has evaded the not so SMART board for sometime now. Millions have been spent on studies, more studies and more studies that all point to the same thing. The ridership isn’t there to support their little train from San Rafael to Santa Rosa.

    The SMART board is like the billionaires kids who can buy anything and spend money on fun they really never appreciate. Only in SMART’s case they are on the public dole and spending taxpayer money that is sorely needed to fix our roads and cut the deficit in our cities and counties.

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  2. Steve Klausner says:

    Well now that’s smart. Tell everybody in advanced that a governmental agency with bottomless pockets and no common sense plans to bid in the auction and really wants the property.

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