Laurie Beaton, who grew up in Mill Valley but now calls Oakland home, was taken aback when she read an article stating that the historic land , who has owned the 120-year-old property for the past 14 years. The thought of the property being transformed into anything else, especially condos, was hard for Beaton to stomach.
“I realized there was a real danger of this historical treasure being demolished," she said. "When I started talking to people, whether in Mill Valley or not, I realized that people care about history and they want history to be preserved."
Beaton launched a "Save Mill Valley Lumber Company" campaign on Facebook on Sunday and already has more than 100 fans. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of the sale, get people involved and most importantly, preserve the historic buildings of the Lumber Company.
When she first started researching the Lumber Co. property, Beaton learned that the existing zoning of the area is residential, meaning that a wide variety of projects could potentially take over. The 0.6-acre property is zoned RM-3.5, which means residential multi-family with a minimum lot size of 3,500 square feet.
Beaton says that organizations interested in purchasing the land and preserving the buildings might need help and support from other investors and the community, so she wants to spread the word quickly.
“There’s a possibility that if the organization that wants to purchase the site is a nonprofit, by gathering people together we can get the word out and fundraise with other investors who want to contribute," Beaton. "We want to reach as many people as possible and make it viral."
Dianne Andrews of McGuire Real Estate is in charge of the 28,230-square-foot-property listing, and has said there has been “tremendous interest” in the land so far.
Andrews said they will be accepting offers on July 31, and that anyone bringing a proposal needs to make sure their ideas jibe with the city. Though the city itself may still need to figure out what it would like to see on the property, according to Andrews.
“Of course potential buyers need to be clear with the city, but the city isn’t too clear yet in terms of what they want,” says Andrews.
“Most people are looking to maintain the look and character of the property," she added. "We’ve had people interested in using the space for lots of different ideas.”
To get involved with the campaign click here