The builders and visionaries in the North Bay who are remaking the landmarks of the past or establishing the landmarks of the future are being celebrated with this year’s North Bay Business Journal Excellence in Construction Awards.
Formerly known as Top Projects, our awards go to businesses, organizations and individuals who shape our communities through a variety of projects and innovation in construction.
Award winners will be celebrated Nov. 15 at Sally Tomatoes in SOMO Village from 4‒6:30 p.m.
Describe the unique features associated with this project: As the first midrise, seven-story residential building to be constructed in Santa Rosa in several decades, 888 Fourth Street offers 107 market-rate one- and two-bedroom apartments offering urban dwellers a living environment near entertainment and shopping venues in the downtown area.
Apartment units range from 357 to 970 square feet. Features include loft spaces with elongated bay windows, a rooftop terrace with spa, a third-floor landscaped terrace, gym/fitness center, game rooms, along with a hotel-style lobby with gathering areas and quiet work spaces. There is private two-level indoor parking garage with EV charging.
“Located in the city’s core, on the edge of the medical services district, and across the street from Fremont Park, this apartment complex is an amenity-rich architectural statement that says to the community: Downtown is Here … Downtown is Special … Downtown Matters,” said developer and builder Hugh Futrell, CEO of the Hugh Futrell Corporation.
The Futrell Corporation is an asset manager specializing in multifamily housing, hotels, offices, adaptive re-use of historic structures, mixed-use, lower-income developments and health care facilities. This company has developed — and in most cases constructed — some 50 projects for its affiliates in the North Bay.
The exterior design utilizes variegated roof lines and tower facade insets, plus an illuminated architectural blade that echoes the iconic Rosenberg Department Store (now Barnes and Noble). Each apartment has a balcony.
TLCD Architects updated and further developed Jon Worden Architect’s original concept to enhance its appeal. MKM was the structural engineering firm, Carlile Macy was the civil engineer and Quadriga was the landscape architect.
Becoming Independent is a nonprofit organization that has been supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for more than 50 years. As its clientele has continued to grow, the nonprofit sought to revamp its Santa Rosa headquarters to include a unique environment with innovative offerings accessible to its clients and expanded its Social Enterprise Division with event space.
What makes this architecturally special?: This project consists of different spaces that can be used to enhance personal development and overall experience built by DesCor Builders with flexibility, growth, adaptability, and technology as a core focus.
The new event space is a multiuse facility designed for programs and services, while also offering flexibility for smaller educational settings by dividing the space into three sections with movable, operable walls. This area also offers organizations and businesses the opportunity to rent a modern, customizable event space equipped with advanced technology and zoom capabilities, or to conduct workforce training.
Conference rooms serve as meeting rooms for staff and classrooms for Becoming Independent’s structured classes also featuring zoom room capabilities for both in-person and virtual meetings/classes.
The fitness center has the latest gym and adaptive equipment for individuals with varying physical abilities.
A commercial kitchen offers a space to develop cooking programs and life skills classes that teach food handling, grocery budgeting, cooking skills, etc. It is also an environment for skills training and discovery for those interested in culinary careers. The kitchen also becomes part of the event space for caterers to rent.
A wellness room was designed to be a calming environment for the senses and a transitional space for those with sensory and stimulant sensitivities.
The courtyard and sensory garden comprise an oasis of Indigenous, drought tolerant plants created to offer accessibility from the interior to a tranquil, natural setting to learn and thrive.
Describe the purpose of the project: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma-Marin Roseland Facility located in Santa Rosa has 24,464 square feet for a full-size gym, art studio, dance/fitness studio, a full-sized commercial kitchen, dining room, game room, tech lab, and flex spaces, along with offices and meeting rooms.
Outside there is a 1,500 square foot play surface area, four half basketball courts, a raised bed for growing fruits and vegetables and two patios. This underserved community is comprised of 96% Latino residents where 69% of the children don’t have access to safe child care. The club provides after school programs bridging the gap and providing equitable access to critical services and conveniences for parents and children who were going without.
What makes this project architecturally special?: The building provides a composition of playful exterior elements including aesthetically pleasing design including architectural rounded roof styling, creating balance, texture, and splashes of bright colors. The creative poured surface pattern used on the outside playground is a bounty of color and energy. according to David Hunter, Director of Construction at OSL Construction, the building arm of Gallaher Construction Inc.
Gallaher Companies manages all aspects of the development process, from site acquisition, entitlements, architectural and landscape plans, to floor plans and interior design: all is handled in-house.
This club provides safety and security, along with equitable programs for youth. These essential services are now accessible to the nearly 3,000 school-aged children who reside within the neighborhood. The facility has increased daily child care spaces for school-aged children by 27%, allowing the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sonoma-Marin to serve an additional 2,000 Santa Rosa families annually. The building currently hosts 330 youth ages 11 — 17 and represents a huge investment in the community.
Describe the purpose of the project: The new Student Life Center at Cardinal Newman High School is a testament to resilience, innovation and community spirit. The 2017 Tubbs Fire that swept through the campus resulted in the loss of the school’s original library and media center, and many other structures.
The project team of GMH Builders led by co-founder Josh Grigg and Quattrocchi Kwok Architects principal John Dybczak were tasked with replacing and reimagining these essential facilities to meet the evolving needs of the students and faculty. Drawing inspiration from modern college student unions, the design seamlessly blends functional spaces with cutting-edge technology.
What makes this project architecturally special?
Spanning two stories and 23,800 square feet, the Student Life Center houses an array of spaces, each with a unique purpose. The building is home to a newly resources Academic Library and high-tech Innovation Center that also includes a student lounge, cafeteria and commercial kitchen, faculty offices, conference rooms, study areas, digital media lab spaces and a recording studio.
The new center combines various design elements involved a delicate balance of integrating flexible classrooms into the overall structure. It is comprised of spaces that transcend traditional learning environments and serves as a dynamic hub that caters to the multifaceted needs of students and staff alike in a structure that creates a seamless environment that fosters collaboration, creativity and academic excellence. Flexible classrooms and seating arrangements were incorporated throughout to cater to varied learning styles and needs.
The Student Life building is one of the primary structures at Cardinal Newman High School that has now been replaced five years after the Tubbs Fire, and is the central hub for student activity, enriched with tech- and collaboration-focused spaces to support learning and social connections.
Describe the scope of this project: In 2017, wildfire destroyed 20 structures and over 700 trees at Enchanted Hills Camp on Mt. Veeder, owned and operated by Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired which has served blind children, youth, adults and their families in Napa since 1950. The Enchanted Hills team is reimagining the camp with full ADA accessibility and “blind design” in mind.
What makes the rebuilding process special?: Reconstruction included 11 cabins, 2 bath house buildings, and a Commons Building with an indoor/outdoor kitchen, dining area and program space built by Wright Construction. The project also includes new underground electric and water, including a 420-foot bore, new 12KV Medium Voltage Electrical distribution, new water tanks and a new parking lot with a photovoltaic system.
“We’re not creating forms and shapes for the sake of aesthetics alone. Rather, we’re thinking about straightforward navigability,” said Helen Schneider with Perkins and Will Architects. A lot of the effort with our master plan is creating cane-detectable paths throughout camp that will provide an accessible route from top to bottom.”
For those with vision impairment, a groove in the pavement, the rise of a curb, or the bump of stones lining a path is a map forward. These lines can serve as a guiding edge for the blind as they move about in the built environment.
Two different floor tiles are used inside the bathhouse, one more textured (for wet areas) and one less textured (for dry zones), which indicate what part of the bathhouse a person is standing in.
Not everyone who is visually impaired is blind, and some people may have sensitivity to high contrasts and bright light. “We don’t want to create moments of glare, so we have softer light,” Schneider added.
What inspired the creation of this special community?: “With a mission to establish an authentic, awake and engaged senior living community — evolving the practice of having a place with a calm, compassionate and respectful community informed by the teachings of wisdom and contemplative care — the 15-acre Enso Village at 4335 Allan Court was founded by a Zen-inspired Healdsburg community with a focus on mindful, contemplative aging, the joys of nature, and sustainability for adults ages 60-plus,” said CEO Rosemary Jordan.
As the first Zen-inspired senior community in the U.S., the architectural design features natural materials including wood and stone, and specific spaces designed to promote calm and quiet — including the first Zendo or meditation hall in a senior community in the United States.
Enso Village supports a lifestyle by a community that includes retired Zen teachers and a curriculum shared by team members and residents called “Mindful Community Training.”
Housing includes one-and-two-bedroom apartments with options for independent living (221 units), assisted living and personal care (30 units), memory support (24 units), optional care support and other add-on services.
A range of unique amenities are available including Tai Chi, Yoga, contemplative care groups, mindfulness classes, a greens-inspired Café/Bistro, a restaurant, private and alfresco dining, a tearoom, the Zendo Meditation Hall, Makers Space, a performance venue and a memorial grove.
There is an indoor heated pool, hydrotherapy spa, fitness center, acupuncture/massage/salon, electric car charging stations and guest suites.
Aspiring to be the greenest senior living community in the U.S. and financed in part by Green Bonds, Enso Village intends to support the efforts embodied by Healdsburg’s recently approved Climate Healdsburg Mobilization Strategy. This includes stewardship of natural resources, aggressive conversion to carbon-free solutions and a focus on reducing food waste and single-occupancy vehicle trips.
What were your goals for this project?: “We wanted to create a new facility for Healdsburg Lumber at 13534 Healdsburg Avenue that would allow us to consolidate four operating units in separate locations throughout town,” said President Jill Ziedrich Gaylor.
These business units included Healdsburg Door & Sash; Hudson Street Design, our home design showroom; Healdsburg Lumber’s retail store and lumber yard and HLC’s Warehouse Distribution. Our building team ensured that a key mantra remained our focus — “it helps when your builder is also a key customer.”
The objective was to create an efficient, functioning facility, one with a creative and innovative flair that left customers with a unique and exciting, shopping experience.
How does the new design help HLC serve its customers?: “From the very beginning, we sought to avoid the stereotypical big box look that most retailers default to. Ken Lafranchi Architecture and Development incorporated design features that successfully blended functionality with aesthetics while championing sustainability and eco-conscious principles,” she said.
“The result is a facility that successfully ties and unifies our rich, local history with state-of-the-art retail enhancements, creating a place where employees, customers, and visitors alike can experience and savor.”
HLC is a hub for design, engineering, and construction activities in Northern Sonoma County, by furnishing conference rooms, training rooms, and support services to all of the players who contribute to the housing and building needs for all, according to Gaylor.
“This new facility successfully expands all levels of service and inventory options to the communities we serve. When we embrace the slogan — “Shop Local” — all of us locals benefit from that loyalty!” she added.
What was involved in this comprehensive project?: The grand opening of MacArthur Place Hotel at 29 E. MacArthur St. in Sonoma with its new spa and room expansion enhances the resort’s capacity to serve as a premier destination for events, conferences, weddings, and meetings.
“The property-wide transformation brings a brand-new look, feel and experience to Sonoma,” said Joe Walsh, Vice President, Development, for Lat33 Capital, a real estate investment company and a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase Funding Inc. The Lat33 executive team has extensive experience in real estate investments, loan structures, and collateral.
He said nearly all aspects of the property underwent renovations as part of a $25 million overhaul, including the lobby, guest rooms, and a fully re-imagined food and beverage program featuring dining centerpiece, Layla; The Porch and cocktail destination, and The Bar at MacArthur.
The Spa’s aquatic features are nestled in the heart of the resort’s garden offering an array of signature treatments using botanicals and herbs from the property’s neighboring farms and vineyards.
What makes this project architecturally special?: The primary design inspiration evokes clustered farm buildings in a garden landscape balancing luxury with casual country living by incorporating natural materials, soothing colors and textures, custom-designed millwork, and heated bathroom floors.
The lobby has been redesigned accented by oak wood floors, millwork and blackened steel accents. The focal point of the high-ceiling space is a custom neutral limestone, travertine floors, and Grown Alchemist products. Select rooms feature a refurbished wood-forged iron chandelier.
Bathrooms have custom-designed vanities in -burning fireplaces and new patios with open-air outdoor showers.
Michael Ross, Principal Architect with RossDrulisCusenbury Architects was responsible for designing the overall changes and improvements implemented at the MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa by GMH Builders under the direction of President Seth Maze.
Purpose of the project: Expanding the bar area in the Mayacama Mediterranean-inspired Clubhouse was seen as a good way to establish a more open concept and provide an elevated experience for members and their guests, according to Danny Hildebrand, director of hospitality at the Mayacama luxury resort.
Mayacama is a private golf club and fractional real estate community covering 675 acres. It offers members and guests a world-class golfing experience on a breathtaking Jack Nicklaus-designed signature 18-hole course surrounded by the natural beauty of the Sonoma Wine Country.
The resort also provides a range of luxurious amenities, including a spa, fine dining, and wine experiences and a 3,000 square foot wine cellar, making it a sought-after destination for golf enthusiasts and connoisseurs of wine seeking leisure, and hospitality
In addition, there are tennis courts, pools, fitness center, hiking, bocce and other recreational activities. On-site gardens supply the restaurant with greens, vegetables and local honey.
What makes this project architecturally special?: Incorporating an open-concept layout and additional bar-top seating not only enhances the aesthetics but also fosters a sense of camaraderie among Mayacama members and guests. The project’s design elements, choice of materials, and attention to detail have transformed the club’s gathering space into a welcoming and visually appealing environment.
The Bar & Grill remodel has positively impacted the club’s community and its members by offering an upgraded and enjoyable gathering place. It has not only enhanced the overall experience at the club, but also contributed to Mayacama’s reputation as Wine Country’s premier luxury private club.
The Project Developer was Jonathan Wilhelm with the Mayacama Resort. Project Manager Joe Madarus with Eddinger Enterprises, Inc., managed construction, and Keith Kirley, with Kirley Architecture and Development, was responsible for creative design.
Describe this project and its purpose: This PEP Housing project is dedicated to providing housing to one of Vacaville’s most vulnerable groups. The Pony Express project has 60 units for low and very low-income seniors and veterans, aged 62+.
All residential units are rented to low-income seniors with 15 units exclusively reserved for homeless seniors. The City of Vacaville also awarded 59 Section 8 Project-Based Vouchers to this project. The average rental amount is $317 with the average age of the residents being 69.
Petaluma and Santa Rosa-based PEP Housing is a nonprofit corporation and an affordable housing real estate organization dedicated to the development and management of affordable housing communities tailored to the needs of seniors.
“PEP promotes well-being and fosters a sense of community while alleviating housing insecurity and contributing to the overall resilience of the North Bay,” said PEP Housing CEO Jennifer Litwak, who has successfully managed the closing of over $1.3 billion in multifamily acquisitions involving more than 8,882 affordable housing units nationwide.
What makes this project architecturally special?: This project preserves and enhances the old growth oak trees on the site by wrapping the new construction around them. The oaks become a central focus and canopy for the community outdoor patio areas, dog run areas, and quiet seating for the senior community in a courtyard like setting.
The contemporary design provides both sloped and flat roofs oriented south to provide the right framework for photovoltaic roof panel. Pony Express Senior Apartments provides the City of Vacaville an opportunity to support their senior population with affordable housing enabling them to live independently in a safe and comfortable environment.
PEP Housing was the developer of the Pony Express project designed by Architect Robert Hayes & Associates and built by Precision General Commercial Contractors, Inc.
The purpose of the project: This administrative center will enable Redwood Credit Union (RCU) to continue to grow and meet the increasing demand for its services in the greater Napa area, with the addition of a full-service branch, Department of Motor Vehicles licensing assistance, and added space for an expanding workforce.
This site is conveniently located to offer access to talent from Napa and Solano Counties and beyond — and added convenience to members in those areas. As a second administrative site, it ensures uninterrupted service across all functions in the event of disaster.
RCU offers complete financial services including checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking, business services, commercial and Small Business Administration lending, and more.
Wealth management and investment services are available through CUSO Financial Services LP, and insurance and auto-purchasing services are also offered through RCU Services Group (RCU’s wholly owned subsidiary).
What makes this project architecturally special?
The building is a sustainable, solar-supported facility with plentiful parking and electric vehicle chargers. The community room, with seating for 500, and a public cafe that will also benefit nonprofits in the community and local workers who currently have few options for fresh and affordable food.
Napa plays an important role in the larger Bay Area economy and RCU plans to support its unique businesses in many ways, including special employer programs to enhance company benefits packages with financial benefits and financial wellness for their employees at no charge to the company.
The new Napa center was designed by Doug Hilberman, president of Axia Architects, and built by Western Builders led by President and Founder Robert Cantu. RSA+ provided civil engineering, ZFA structural engineering and MEP Mechanical. O’Mahony & Myer were the electrical engineers and Integra was the landscape architect.
What is the purpose of this project?: PEP Housing’s River City Apartment community has 54 units for low- and very-low-income seniors and veterans, aged 62-plus. To make this development affordable, the Santa Rosa Housing Authority awarded 19 Project-Based VASH vouchers designated for low-income Veterans, and County of Sonoma Housing Authority awarded 15 Section 8 Project-based vouchers designated for homeless seniors. The average rent for these individuals is $527 with the average age of the residents being 69.
What makes this project architecturally special?: This senior project site is located at the southern end of Petaluma’s historic downtown district. The building design for River City Senior Apartments was meant to incorporate elements of both the historic downtown and the riverfront warehouse buildings. PEP Housing decided to bring the historic character of downtown to the new outer edge to keep the old downtown feel and promote future development of the south Petaluma Blvd corridor.
Another historic reference was brought into the project by incorporating waterfront warehouse elements into the buildings that are situated toward the Petaluma River. Another aspect that makes this project unique is that the Community Building was also placed on the Petaluma River allowing tenants to congregate inside the building and outside it to enjoy the views of the river, trees, birds, and tides.
PEP Housing was the developer and Wright Contracting was the builder commissioned to construct the River City project designed by Architect Robert Hayes & Associates.
PEP Housing is a nonprofit affordable housing real estate development organization dedicated to providing low-income housing solutions for seniors.
“Through our commitment to affordable housing, we aim to alleviate housing insecurity and contribute to the overall well-being and resilience of our North Bay community,” said PEP Housing CEO Jennifer Litwak and Jim Wallen, Director of Housing Development.
Describe this newly constructed campus: The new Roseland Accelerated Middle School consists of 15 classrooms, administrative offices, and a multiuse building with a serving kitchen and an open-air lunch shelter comprising approximately 27,000 square feet of new space. These new rooms replaced a cluster of portables, while creating an identity and gathering space for student life.
The project cost an estimated $10 million to $25 million. Occupancy came in time for start of school on Aug. 18.
Doug Hilberman, President of Axia Architects, designed classrooms to share a dual loaded corridor with the multiuse building anchoring the circulation paths designed as a flex space opening to the lobby to act is the Living Room for campus life. Western Builders was the general contractor. Engineering firms included RSA+ for civil, ZFA structural, TEP mechanical and O’Mahony & Myer electrical. Integra provided landscape architecture.
Explain key architectural and technical features: Classrooms are stacked in a two-story configuration with staircases at each end and a lobby elevator. The school was carefully positioned on an existing elementary school campus to create its own identity while not disrupting this school, its circulation, and playfields.
The new buildings also continue the use of exterior cladding materials and building forms used on the existing elementary school. The middle school set up exhibits a different material use and color scheme so buildings can be identified separately but not clash with existing edifices. Solar shading fins also added to the unique design aesthetic.
Many wireless connective devices are in the building. The smoke and fire detection systems are the most technologically up to date. Trapezoidal shaped clerestory windows have electrically controlled roller blinds that completely cover the glazing and drop into custom sill mounted covers.
Located in the heart of Northern California’s world-renowned Wine Country, Charles M. Schulz‒Sonoma County Airport (airport code STS) offers scheduled air service to and from Northern California. The new expansion improves airport operational efficiency and safety while also enhancing the customer experience. It also increases passenger throughput at a time when there is a rise in the number and frequency of scheduled flights.
Working through the COVID pandemic during the design and construction phases was a challenge met by the CMAR Builder team as they managed a fully integrated delivery program to complete this complex modernization project within the budget to better serve the community. Cory Hazelwood with C & Companies served as the construction manager, and Erik Schroeder was the project architect with Mead & Hunt Architecture/Engineering.
Describe what is included in this project: The project added approximately 35,000 square feet of space for a new total of about 56,000 square feet.
The renovations included a new front entrance featuring glass paneling and the ticket lobby, security improvements, four additional boarding gates in an enlarged main lobby and the two food and beverage locales.
There is additional outdoor seating along with another pet relief area between the two concourses and a new baggage claim with two carousels, a car rental area and local artwork featuring the airport’s namesake and “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz. Peanuts and Linus statues are outside the entrance.
The new terminal was built at a cost of $40 million and officially opened in November 2023 featuring a new wine bar (Crush) which will also feature beer and cocktails as well as breakfast and lunch menus. Apple Spice now has a permanent home in Concourse A serving pizza, soup, sandwiches and ice cream along with beer, wine and nonalcoholic beverages. Some 16 new vending machines have also been added.
Describe the changes desired in the rebuilt home: After the Tubbs Fire destroyed a private residence located at the top of Skyfarm Drive, the owners spent three years designing and building a new home of their dreams with the intent to construct it with the ability to withstand fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters and provide them with peace of mind.
This home site offers its owners a picturesque panorama. The new dwelling was positioned on the property to take advantage of the most impressive views, and to provide the most usable outdoor space for a variety of recreational and entertaining features.
The property owners turned to Christopherson Homes Inc. to make their vision come true.
The Christopherson family has been building both custom homes and developing neighborhoods in the North Bay since 1978 in addition to nearly 7,000 homes across northern California.
What makes this project special?: “The entire rebuilding process included a custom pool, putting green, shuffleboard court, bocce ball court, top-end finishes, appliances and a home automation system that make this a very impressive residence,” said Keith Christopherson.
“The finished home is an entertainer’s delight with open spaces, a large covered patio, an overhead cantilevered shade structure, and a lighted water wall. These features all combine to make this home one of the best in Santa Rosa. With a strong focus on quality and customer service, we are proud to continue this legacy of fine home building,” Christopherson said.
The design team for the Skyfarm Drive home included Kevin Farrell, Farrell Faber Architects, Alan Furste with Carlile Macy Civil engineers, Kelly Johnson with Johnson Debois Forest structural engineers and Mike Cook with INTEGRA Landscape Architecture. In addition, a total of 30 subcontractors — including suppliers, appliance distributors and construction trade groups — were involved.
Describe this large-scale housing project: Willowglen is a new community neighborhood subdivision with 477 homes in southeast Rohnert Park built at an estimated total project cost of between $300 and $400 million located in the W-section at southeast corner of Rohnert Park on Valley House Drive between Petaluma Hill Road and Bodway Parkway.
There are 405 market-rate units with the remaining 72 set aside to meet affordable housing requirements comprise rental and for sale properties priced for a range of households from the very low to median levels of affordability.
All homes for sale follow classical architectural designs in 11 unique floor plans nestled around The Maurice Park. Phases 1, 2, and 3 are expected to be completed by November 2023.
Willowglen Homes have been built above and beyond current standards for energy efficiency. They come with solar and a 50-amp electric car charger access in garages based on the highest level of energy conservation technologies and have high efficiency pilotless gas furnaces as a standard feature. Water conservation is aided by tankless water heaters, water saving toilets and shower heads and Indigenous low maintenance front yard landscaping. R38 insulation is standard in attic space.
“There are desirable places to live, and then there are truly exceptional ones.” said Alexandra Rihl, vice president of sales for Willowglen. “Commitment to quality and backed by more than thirty years of experience in the home building industry has gone into the design of this suburban community.”
Willowglen is being developed by a Sonoma County builder that uses local trades. This commitment to work with local trades means keeping Sonoma County dollars in Sonoma County.”
Ben Zanzutphen with the Dennis Hunter Group is the developer of Willowglen. Fantasia Stensland, director of design and construction, created the classic home styles at Willowglen. Adam Gardner, with WHA was the architect.