Home Depot withdraws claim on former Petaluma Kmart site

Home Depot will no longer come to Petaluma, after the department store withdrew its bid for a new store at the former Kmart site in the Plaza North mall.

A Home Depot representative confirmed in an email late Wednesday morning that the company was no longer pursuing the property at 261 North McDowell Boulevard. No other details were provided.

The move comes after city council approved a zoning amendment on July 18 that would require store developments over 25,000 square feet to obtain conditional use permits and undergo a full environmental review.

“We have a huge empty space in a major mall and mom and pop restaurants and retailers will continue to suffer from the lack of an anchor tenant,” council member Mike Healy said in a text message Wednesday. Healy was the only “no” to vote when approving the zoning amendment. “He’s teetering on a scourge situation.”

Gallelli Real Estate submitted plans in January for the proposed development in the 19-acre mall, which called for the demolition of the original 90,000-square-foot building, formerly the longtime home of a Kmart, to make way to a 107,891- 28,216 square foot main building and a 28,216 square foot garden center. The project would also have included a tool and truck rental center and the addition of over 450 parking spaces.

But a new ordinance, passed in a 6-1 city council vote on July 18, would require Home Depot to obtain a conditional use permit from the Planning Commission, allowing city officials to fully review the project to “mitigate impacts and ensure commercial land use has a net positive impact on the community”.

Proponents of the newly approved zoning amendment have touted its ability to bring the city closer to its carbon-neutral climate goals by 2030 by limiting the effects associated with department stores, including traffic congestion and air pollution.

Many residents applauded the amendment and the idea that the city could focus its attention on local businesses, including Friedman’s Home Improvement, which is just half a mile down the road from the proposed Home Depot site.

“As a community, we need to think creatively about how to adapt vacant buildings in a way that will benefit our city in the long term, help us meet our climate goals, and not put existing local stores on the line. bankrupt,” resident Deborah Garber said in a letter posted on the city’s website July 18.

Plaza North Mall is home to more than two dozen businesses such as Don Pancho Mexican Restaurant, Hunan Village Restaurant, Soban Korean Food, Pilates Club and more.. Many homeowners have expressed support for The Home Depot because of the foot traffic they say it would bring to their stores.

“We managed to survive the pandemic and the loss of Kmart… But we can’t do it forever,” Hunan village owner Lily Huang said in a previous letter to the city posted on the website. the city. “By passing ordinances that will delay the arrival of Home Depot and other large tenants in malls, you are depriving businesses of the opportunity to recover from the difficulties of the past few years. This ordinance will hurt Petaluma and continue to encourage local residents to take their purchases out of town.

Amelia Parreira is an editor for the Argus-Courier. She can be reached at [email protected] or 707-521-5208.