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Hotel Petaluma to Become Market Rate

Long a residence for people on a fixed income, including the disabled and the formerly homeless, the historic Hotel Petaluma will soon become a commercial hotel. But where will the 100-plus current tenants go?

 

Hotel Petaluma, long a residence for people on a fixed income, including the disabled and the formerly homeless, will become a commercial hotel, forcing the 100-plus current tenants to find new housing.

The Andrews Management Company acquired the historic hotel on East Washington Street last October and since then has been renovating both the interior and exterior. It also raised rents by 10 percent, prompting anger among many residents.

On Friday, after meeting with the Sonoma County Visitors Bureau, the owners announced that the hotel will offer only short-term stays for rates between $65 to $90 a night starting as soon as this spring.

All existing tenants, meanwhile, will be given either a 30 or 60-day notice to vacate.

“There is no hotel within walking distance of downtown and it’s a natural place for visitors to stay,” said Jessica Andrews, the marketing manager for the company and daughter of Terrence Andrews, who owns the building.

“The city has encouraged us to bring the level of the hotel up and that’s what we have been doing. We want to make it a more of comfortable place and Petaluma more of a destination, instead of a place people pass through.”

The new owners have already painted the interior of all the rooms and brought in new furniture, Andrews said.

But the decision means that tenants will have to quickly find new housing, at a time when there is a critical shortage of it in Petaluma.

Reached by phone Friday afternoon, Petaluma People Services Center Executive Director Elece Hempel said she had not heard about the hotel’s decision, but said she would be discussing it with her staff.

The agency has funds available for rental assistance and is encouraging people in need of affordable housing to contact them. Petaluma People Services Center can be reached at (707) 765-8490.

What do you think about the decision? Is this a step in the right direction for Petaluma's downtown? Are you concerned about the displaced tenants? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

onceuponatimeinpetaluma February 20, 2013 at 01:28 AM
Mitch, the Hotel was not filthy before Mr. Andrews bought the building, quite the opposite. Were you a tenant?
onceuponatimeinpetaluma February 20, 2013 at 01:49 AM
It seems quite obvious that the new owner's are trying to get the old tenants out with a "plan to upgrade the rooms" but really have no intention of upgrading anything. They want them out so they can raise the rents. A daily and weekly ONLY residential SRO in downtown Petaluma? Petaluma is not SF or Oakland. Illegal eviction notices, no permits or applications to do work filed with the City, shared bathrooms not in working order. These are not professionals who want the best for this property. In the last few years, Hotel Petaluma had many decent, hardworking people with limited incomes or people relocating for jobs (leaving their families behind), seniors and American Vets living there. Out of 100+ rooms, some bad apples have gotten in but the overwhelming majority are GOOD people. There are also tenants in the commercial spaces that are very unhappy with the new management. Mr Andrews has a great property and is proceeding with some sort of plan, but upgrading it doesn't seem to be part of it.
dmpraetzel February 20, 2013 at 04:07 AM
Maybe the City of Petaluma can renovate the old Sunset Line & Twine building and put the 100 soon to be homeless up there!!
loudmouth February 21, 2013 at 04:10 AM
Some of you guys make me laugh. I don't know how many commentors have lived there, or even set foot inside. Or traveled and stayed anywhere other than a beige hotel or motel. I lived here for 3 months, I moved here, and I found the Hotel to be very accomodating, with on-site laundry, a lending library, holiday decorations, cleaning supplies and vacuums you could borrow. They supplied furniture, fridges, a TV and had a great attitude whenever they dealt with anyone. The building itself is awesome, and I would rather stay there than in a modern place anyday. Many rooms had their own bathrooms, and many didn't. You paid the difference. And parking is right around the corner in the garage, if necessary. Also, Petaluma is most certainly a destination location. If you don't think so, what are you doing in your spare time? This town is awesome! Oh, and rent that spare room in your house to a former tenant. Do it. Don't want to? Imagine that times 100. I don't blame the owners for selling it, and I applaud the new owners. I can't wait to stay there, walk around, get some food, go shopping,check out some music... You have fun at Motel 6 and Target.
PetalumaNative February 24, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Most people in there were straight up CRACKHEADS, the management knows all about it.....sad but true, the place IS quite FILTHY

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