The man who recently purchased the Rio Nido Inn for $250K recently received approval for a $400K loan from RRROC to develop a previously purchased Rio Nido property as an affordable rental housing complex. According to Frank Robertson's October 28 article in the Sonoma West Times & News, RRROC's approval of this loan to Sebastopol developer Dennis Judd "raised some eyebrows."
Although the Board of Supervisors hasn't written any checks yet, the County rarely -- if ever -- denies funding for an RRROC-recommended project.
Folks here in Rio Nido have already started grumbling about the "Ruska Rika Dacha rental housing compound" on River Road and Mr. Judd's intentions for the Rio Nido Inn. But I'm still on the fence. After all, if the job market doesn't improve soon, some of us might need to live there. (Psst, Tom Lynch ... can you please send me an application?)
SO ... gee, now that we know the identity of the developer formerly known as "Mr. X", I wonder what Mr. Judd wants to do with the Rio Nido Inn?
I'm still crossing my fingers & hoping we can persuade Mr. Judd, RRROC, & other People With Money to restore the Inn & turn it into some fabulous, historic high-end hotel. They could even buy the enormous & adjacent parking lot fronting River Road (also for sale), restore the old fountain, & landscape a lush garden like the one at the Coronado Hotel in San Diego.
Didn't I once hear something about Mike Reilly and others floating around the possibility of a luxury resort at the entrance to Rio Nido? This would have the advantage of providing jobs within walking distance to all those folks living down the street.