Update: We are excited that the climate SMART project at 556 Ross Street was approved by the Design Review Board!
Greenbelt Alliance supports and has officially endorsed the proposed infill development by Cornerstone Properties located at 556 Ross Street in Santa Rosa, CA. Cornerstone Properties proposed density increase is an essential component of Downtown Santa Rosa’s continued success and evolution. The “re-envision” of Ross Street to include 109 “affordable by design” apartments will bring critically needed housing to the city center. Additionally, private and public amenity spaces at the street level will modernize and bring desired uses in what is currently an underutilized site.
More residents within walking distance of downtown shops and businesses mean a larger customer base and increased economic activity. With recent disruptions for small businesses due to Covid-19 and unforeseen natural disasters, additional customers within close proximity are an important step toward fulfilling Downtown Santa Rosa’s economic potential. Being in a Census-designated Opportunity Zone, we can further build upon the investment to fully transform this community and provide much needed sustainable, transit-oriented housing options.
The development aligns with the City’s goals, planning blueprints, and in creating a vision for the downtown area as an “energetic commercial and cultural center.” With the much-needed housing and the incorporation of private and public spaces, 556 Ross Street will help create the vibrant environment we all desire.
This project will go beyond simply leveraging existing transportation and infrastructure and will feature many sustainability features aimed at energy & water savings, reduction of a local heat island effect, and providing healthy indoor air quality. This project also maintains defensible space around all buildings for fire resilience which can serve a dual purpose of open space during non-fire periods. To be resilient in the face of climate change starts with better identifying climate-related risks to our communities, built environment and natural systems, and taking an educated, holistic, and equitable view on how to address them.
Investing in pedestrian-friendly enhancements along Ross Street is not only good for business but is also good for the environment.
Additionally, with housing often being identified as a major hurdle for employers, the increased housing opportunities in the city center, could very well increase the potential for employment in creative and tech sectors, as well as other industries. And with the potential to also serve childcare needs on-site, 556 Ross Street also adds this benefit to the public.
556 Ross Street aligns with the City’s goals, planning blueprints, and in creating a vision for the downtown area as an “energetic commercial and cultural center”. With the necessary housing and the incorporation of private and public spaces, this project will assist in creating the vibrant environment we all desire. It will also help the city of Santa Rosa make significant progress towards its Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) goals. And the units are affordable by design, meaning they’re smaller, more efficient, and more affordable to a wider range of people, which is good for the City and residents.
With all of this in mind, we are encouraged that the City of Santa Rosa has looked thoughtfully at its local affordable housing policies and make a commitment towards financially supporting developers to provide more affordable housing like this project.
By endorsing climate SMART development projects, we’re preventing growth on our natural and agricultural lands. Learn more about sprawl threats around the Bay Area by downloading our At Risk report today. You can also find out more about our Endorsement Program here. Of course, we’re always here to help so feel free to contact our team for more information and support.