Wednesday, March 15, 2017

KEVIN MCCALLUM

Santa Rosa to lease parking spaces to future Old Courthouse Square Hotel

The latest plans to turn downtown Santa Rosa’s historic Empire Building into a boutique hotel have grown into an ambitious $18 million effort that would dramatically reshape most of the west side of Old Courthouse Square.

Drawings submitted recently to the city’s Design Review Board reveal that developer Hugh Futrell plans to renovate the interior of the 1908 Empire Building, add a third-story terrace café to the largely vacant building two doors down and create an attractive courtyard between them by demolishing the narrow building that stands there now.

“This hotel is a critical piece of the transformation of the city’s core, in conjunction with several other initiatives,” Futrell said, citing the reunification of Old Courthouse Square, his Museum on the Square project and other proposed downtown housing. “It also preserves, in an environmentally sensitive way, an iconic historic structure.”

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