Cornerstone Properties, a North Bay property owner, is developing a landmark housing project in Santa Rosa’s downtown core at 566 Ross Street and has announced a significant community benefit as a component of the development. “We are thrilled to include the first significant quality child care facility in the heart of downtown Santa Rosa as part of our project,” said Pauline Block, who is overseeing the project for Cornerstone. “The facility will provide a unique amenity to residents of the building as well as provide a tremendous resource for our community members who live and work near downtown.”
A total of 52 children will be able to receive care at the new facility operated by Storybook Village Preschool. The facility will have space for toddler and preschool-aged children, serving young children from 18 months until entering kindergarten. While the facility will be part of the new housing development, families will not have to be residents for their children to attend.
Cornerstone selected Storybook Village with the assistance of local child care experts and saw a natural fit during that process. “We selected Storybook Village because of the quality of their services and their vision for what this should be,” said Ms. Block. “Everyone at Cornerstone believes in something more than just constructing a building. We are in this to help make Downtown Santa Rosa a healthier, more vibrant and activated space for children, families, and our community to enjoy.”
Storybook Village’s proposal emphasized giving families access to affordable care by accepting vouchers and partnering with agencies that support families with low-income qualifications; providing nutritious meals to all children so they are guaranteed to have their basic needs met for a majority of the day if their family dynamic is at-risk; including a community garden to promote healthy children and menus while implementing a Garden Curriculum and fostering a love for nature; investing in the early childhood education workforce through community resources, connections, and professional development; and encouraging family engagement and parent participation to promote parent education and family support through understanding the value of quality child care and accessing community resources.
Nicole Monachello, Director & Owner of Storybook Village notes how meaningful this opportunity is. “Since the need to do more for Sonoma County children and their families is how Storybook Village Preschool came to be, I am honored and delighted to be on this journey with Cornerstone to design a high-quality preschool learning environment. I hope our partnership with Cornerstone will become a model for surrounding communities since all early childhood programs can thrive with community support in developing future buildings and renovating current ones. Providing quality child care is more than caring for children; it’s caring about our future. Cornerstone’s commitment and enthusiasm to build a facility we can be proud of provides enormous long-term benefits to our community, making this a remarkable opportunity for today’s children and families, the child care workforce, and tomorrow’s society.”
The project represents a collaborative effort to increase access to quality early care and education. Cornerstone Properties, the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber, the City of Santa Rosa, and First 5 Sonoma County came together in support of this opportunity to meet the child care needs of the project’s future residents, to support our local economy, and as part of a larger goal to help ensure that all children have access to quality early learning opportunities that will increase their chances of success in life.
“In Sonoma County, we know that as much as 70% of a family’s income can be taken up just by housing and child care alone,” says Peter Rumble, CEO of the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber. “That makes the day-to-day lives of many in our community extremely difficult, and frankly it isn’t good for the economic health of the community in total. The Chamber has devoted a tremendous amount of work to address these two challenges, and having a partner like Cornerstone make such an important investment is incredible.”
First 5 Sonoma County Executive Director Angie Dillon-Shore says, “What we have experienced over the last several years, through natural disasters and the pandemic, have shown just how important quality child care is for the health and vitality of our community. It has also shown how out of reach quality care is right now, and that if we are going to change that fact, it will take bold and courageous steps from people like the folks at the Cornerstone team.”
“This is exactly the kind of project the City Council wanted to encourage through its policy changes over the last several years,” says Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Rogers. “A project that will provide the kind of housing our families need in our downtown core and provide resource that our entire community is so desperate for right now. I couldn’t be happier to support this project.”
The project will break ground this year, with a 24-month construction timeline.
Cornerstone is one of the largest commercial property owner and developers in the North Bay. Locally owned and managed, Cornerstone prides itself on caring for its clients by providing unmatched administrative and facilities-based service. In addition to leasing their building spaces, Cornerstone is committed to transforming the North Bay and being a community leader in finding solutions to address issues such as housing, child care, public transportation and workforce training. Their mission is to support local, sustainable activities and bring more business to the North Bay. As a forward-thinking and innovative company, Cornerstone continues to identify opportunities in the community where they can make a difference. More information is available at https://www.cornerstonedowntown.com/