The Waterhouse Complex
Waterhouse Complex Program Study
The Waterhouse building was catastrophically damaged in a fire on June 5th 2020. Since the fire, there has been little movement on the redevelopment of the property. The four lots which comprise the Waterhouse Building, the Post Office, and Don's Liquor store are currently on the market for 5.2M.
Through a series of community meetings, and creation of the Waterhouse Complex Planning Group to analyze potential, 2 studies were completed that evaluate the potential for community use.
The latest meeting of the Waterhouse Complex Planning Group was held at the firehouse on December 5th 2023 lead by Caren Quay from BCG. The objective was to provide a summary of the effort from BCG to understand and develop a program that may be viable for the Waterhouse Complex. Through the work of the members of the planning group, it was determined that the purchase of the Waterhouse is extremely difficult and an unrealistic project based upon the sellers asking price and the conditions surrounding the property. The below update to the program provide details of the Study 2 efforts recently completed.
The Waterhouse Complex Planning Group includes Will Bartlett, John Borg, Wendy Botwin, Howard Dillon, Andrew Alexander Green , Sherry Hirsch, Peter Luchetti, Gene Marchi, Megan Matson, Steve Matson, Caren Quay, and Jennie Pfeiffer. The
The initial case study leverages the existing footprint of the Waterhouse building with the ground floor being open to various commercial and civic activities with housing options above. This study maximizes the available units given the footprint and existing structure.
This study increased the number of available units by increasing available footprint with additional floors and a rebuild of the existing post office building. Efforts around the modeling included researching with other housing developers outside of Bolinas for input into the assessment.
This study also came with an updated financial model that reflected the increased tenant capacity, provided by Table Rock Partners. Even with the additional capacity, the project still appears to be unviable, given the asking price and complexity.
From the current analysis, and resource availability in the community and within the BCG and the Waterhouse Complex Planning Group it has been determined that without a dedicated and resourced Project Manager to investigate more complex funding scenarios and a significant investment for the project, that the group sees no other option than to close the program.
Study Drawings and notes from the Firehouse Meeting are below.
WATERHOUSE COMPLEX PROJECT UPDATE: 11/1/23
Our last Waterhouse Project update (August 9, 2023) called for these next steps:
• additional community interest
• focused discussions
• a review of prior efforts and materials
• developing stewards of the work and ongoing community involvement
With additional community interest and discussions, including a review of prior efforts and financials, recent work has included the development of a revised program with eight units of low income housing for seniors and input from outside nonprofit developers such as EAH Housing as well as from interested community members.
Unfortunately, so far, the acquisition and development costs have proven challenging. And there does not seem to be a larger nonprofit housing developer willing to take on such a small project or engage in partnership with a local nonprofit. We are now looking at other avenues to reach our goal.
Throughout the project, Steve Matson, architect, has produced several drawings and will continue to draw up other iterations of what could be done with the site.
Since August, the legal issues regarding the Complex have been resolved and it has been officially listed for sale (October 18, 2023) for $5.2 million. The Complex is co-listed, on the Multiple Listing Service, by Sarah Butler and Tom Wredberg of Oceanic Realty.
Project team efforts, through discussions and outreach, are ongoing, focused on finding a way to fund and revitalize the Complex to fulfill community wishes for affordable housing, retail businesses, and offices.
As always, we welcome your ideas and participation.
Waterhouse Complex Program Plan
The Waterhouse building was catastrophically damaged in a fire on June 5th 2020. Since the fire, there has been little movement on the redevelopment of the property due to litigation between the current owner and various parties which halted the reconstruction of the building. The current owner has indicated that they would be willing to sell the four lots which comprise the Waterhouse Building, the Post Office, and Don's Liquor store. After a series of community meetings, a number residents came together to determine what could be done to resurrect the building for community good.
The Waterhouse Complex Planning Group was formed and began to develop a community led strategy to determine the possibilities of what could be done with the properties.
Through community meetings, polls emails and conversations, the community expressed desire of a mixed used, community supportive facility, that would contain a housing element. While specific details varied, the overarching consensus was enough to begin research on how the complex could be developed. Much of the community expressed a desire to see a building that would be capable of supporting a connection between citizens and allow for gathering and interaction with everyone in the community.
From this initial feedback, the effort began to develop a number of case studies for the property. Working with local architects and designers, the plan is to start with the simplest and most obvious path for development, and increase complexity and scale in design if needed or desired. From existing footprint to a complete redevelopment of all (4) lots, there is a broad range of possibilities to investigate.
The initial case study leverages the existing footprint of the Waterhouse building with the ground floor being open to various commercial and civic activities with housing options above. This study maximizes the available units given the footprint and existing structure. We will offer up shortly multiple variations of this to review with the community.
For each of the studies, a basic financial model is developed showing predicted revenue and expenses. There is additional analysis to determine what level of private or public funds could be leveraged to support the various models. These models are just a starting point, and are provided to help facilitate ongoing communication and discussion within the community and with parties interested in the project.
By investigating the expressed desires and needs of the community and developing preliminary case studies and analysis, the objective is to inform the public and potential investors of the potential of the properties. These efforts are ongoing and will require additional community input.
Community Ideation and Review.
We will be announcing a new process to engage with the community on thoughts and solutions based upon this process to obtain addtional input and support. Please check back for Ideation Session dates and times.
The Bolinas Cannabis Club recently held an exorcism of The Waterhouse Complex.