The buyer’s plans for the Chanate Road campus could include residential, retail, hotel, golf course, or casino
A City website dedicated to the Chanate campus, indicates that a large-scale proposal would likely require a reallocation of the property, a major environmental review, and a change to the overall Santa Rosa plan.
Councilor Victoria Fleming’s northeastern Santa Rosa district includes the Chanate campus and the hilltop neighborhoods above. Fleming, who described herself as a “loyal and passionate” advocate of housing construction, said her main concern was that on-site homes, a resort or hotel would increase traffic along narrow, winding Chanate Road in the event of future nightly fire evacuations.
She said any development at Chanate must be carefully calibrated to gain the support of her and her cautious constituents.
“The safety of the surrounding neighborhoods and the residents of those neighborhoods is of paramount importance,” said Fleming. “I will watch this situation as it develops very carefully.”
To allay local residents’ immediate concerns for safety once the property changes hands, Haddad plans to begin demolishing all of the vacant buildings in Chanate once the sale is complete.
Haddad said the contractor he selected to demolish the site is responsible for hiring a private company to oversee the property during the demolition, which could take about six months. After that, he doesn’t anticipate any need for security until the project is complete.
“That’s why we want to withdraw the demolition permit immediately,” he said. “If we get the demolition permit, everything will be done by the contractor.”
Talk of a tribal casino
After the property was auctioned, there was speculation that Haddad – a relative unknown in North Bay – might team up with a Native American tribe to build a casino, according to half a dozen interviews with local officials and housing advocates.
In an interview with Haddad on Friday, he ruled out any plans for a casino.
“No, we are not suggesting a casino site,” he said.
But in a follow-up call Monday, Haddad said he raised the possibility with his lawyer after a Press Democrat reporter asked previous questions about tribal games.
“I asked my lawyer about it and he said, ‘Let me know when you’re ready to discuss. It has definitely been done, ‘”said Haddad.
To build a casino in Chanate, a tribe with ties to the region would have to apply for the federal government to grant the land as tribal land before seeking additional state and federal permits, a process that generally takes years. The city or the district are not responsible in this procedure.
Haddad said he has not yet contacted any tribes regarding the property, adding that he has not been involved in casino development in the past.
The latest move in North Bay casino development came from the Koi Nation, a state-recognized tribe based in Sonoma County, who announced plans in September to convert a 68-acre vineyard southeast of Windsor into a $ 600 million casino. Convert Resort.
Representative of the Koi Nation; the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, based near Healdsburg and operating a casino in San Pablo; and the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, which is based near Geyserville and operates the River Rock Casino there, all said they had not been contacted by Haddad.
The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, who own the Graton Resort and Casino in the Rohnert Park area, the largest tribal gaming destination in the Bay Area, did not return a request for comment.
If Haddad intends to consider local residents’ concerns when crafting a proposal for the property, Santa Rosa councilor Fleming said any casino plans should be a non-starter.
“I think it’s a stretch to imagine the neighbors, or the community in general, coming to a place where a casino is welcome,” she said. “I just find that unimaginable.”
Past and current projects of the developer
In the past few years, Haddad has purchased two other large lots for redevelopment in Nevada and California.
One is the gated Legacy Golf Course in Henderson, Nevada, which he and partner Georges Maalouf bought for $ 1.5 million in 2017 to build luxury apartments and a hotel around the course. Neighbors filed a lawsuit in 2018 to halt the project before the parties agreed that only part of the property could be built, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
In March of this year, Haddad and Maalouf won a tender for 59 hectares of former coast guard premises in Contra Costa county. The site known as Concord Villages is currently an abandoned military building adjoining a separate massive planned housing development on a former naval base and Superfund site. The couple paid $ 58.4 million for the property, which the report says they plan to add 2,000 residential units San Francisco business hours.