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.

Claron Werner February 16, 2013 at 01:23 AM
Once again I have to ask, "In what way is this a breaking news story?" This possibility has been being kicked around since October when the property was purchased. Now that four months have passed all of a sudden, "Look out! It's breaking news!!" Must be a slow news day... What a waste
Mitch February 16, 2013 at 01:53 AM
I disagree with you, Claron. I find this story of great interest as I did not know the hotel was planning on forcing their tenants out. It is too bad the hotel owner and the Visitors Center had private conversations without public knowledge but the end result is good. The old Silk Mill building never worked out and this is a much better location.
someonewhowasconsideringmovingtoimperialbeach February 16, 2013 at 01:57 AM
They won't make a profit by running as a hotel. I predict by next year it will be for sale again. As far as renovation, that was done before the new owners bought it. Also, the renovation that is happening right now inside, there are no safety notices inside posted for tenants. Gutted rooms are taped off with yellow safety tape with no notice in enrtyways and tenants are stuffing towels under doors to keep dust out. Thank you city of Petaluma for ensuring safety. Karma is a b!tch.
Karina Ioffee February 16, 2013 at 02:40 AM
Hi Claron. I try to be careful about what is deemed "breaking news" and don't send an alert more than a couple of times a month. Sometimes it's an accident that's blocking traffic, sometimes it's a big city decision, but we use the alerts sparingly. If you don't want to receive them, you can always unsubscribe.
Mitch February 16, 2013 at 02:49 AM
I understand the hotel was filthy before the renovation. And now you are complaining about dust in your room? Let's hope PPSC can help you folks find another place to live.
Claron Werner February 16, 2013 at 05:04 AM
@ Mitch and Karina, I think it is relevant news, don't get me wrong. I just think that breaking news should be saved for accidents that block traffic or children that are missing or something that is a causing public safety issue. Or something that has an effect on a large portion of the community. I do enjoy reading the patch and plan on continuing to do so. I just happen to disagree this time about how this is "breaking" news.
QueenPeace February 16, 2013 at 10:41 AM
The Hotel is NOT nor was in my stay "filthy". And yes 100 new homeless IS breaking news, perhaps soon Jessy and her ear dad dad will get to experience homelessness themselves.. Crapitalism at it's worst o worries though. This plan will fail.
QueenPeace February 16, 2013 at 10:45 AM
100 new homeless by money hoarders IS breaking news. Adrews and his kids are going through tenenant rooms ad stealing NOW they want to evict?!! Let;'s hear a resounding cheer for the Andrews greed groups soon failure!!
Patrice February 16, 2013 at 03:08 PM
It is hard to imagine that a hotel charging $65-$90 a night is going to be anything special. While an upscale historic hotel in the heart of Petaluma might be a nice addition, this project does not seem to be leaning in that direction. The residents of the Petaluma Hotel should have been given more notice, as low income housing can be hard to get in to. Likely, if other (better) options had been available to them, they would not have settled for the hotel in the first place. I hope that the current residents are able to find options that they can afford.
mid-western gal February 16, 2013 at 05:20 PM
A little advice for QueenPeace - learn how to spell. If you don't like "crapitalism " then move to Cuba. The entitlement of poor people in Petaluma is ridiculous. How many low income housing units does one town need to provide? The building was for sale, someone bought it and is utilizing the building for what they want. Simple.
Montgomery Powell February 16, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Petaluma a destination? For what? Target? Friedman's? Miles and miles of parking lots? Thanks again to the city council for cruelty to poor people and sucking up to campaign kickbackers.
Petaluma Seer February 18, 2013 at 10:45 AM
Sounds like a personal problem Claron. What a negative spin you put on a news worthy article. Chill dude.
Green T February 19, 2013 at 05:51 PM
How did the Petaluma Peoples Services not know about this?
crash magillacutty February 19, 2013 at 10:19 PM
What tourist is going to pay to stay in a hotel where the toilet and shower are in the hall? Where are these tourists going to park? Where is the extra water for all those sheets and towels coming from? How will this impact Petaluma's supply of low income housing? How will these changes impact the historic character of the building and the downtown National Register district? Either the new owners are not applying for the proper permits, or the city dropped the ball big time by not requiring the impacts of this change in use be studied.
Hercules GrytpypeThynne February 20, 2013 at 01:23 AM
Crash is right, no one is going to pay $65 - $90 for a bathroom down the hall. Those poor people are being kicked out over a scheme that will not profit anyone. What a shame.
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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