We just posted an interesting guest opinion piece from the runner-up in the competition to remodel the AT&T building on 3rd Street in downtown Santa Rosa.

It’s rare we hear from the losing bidders in these kinds of design competitions. But in this case Eric Anderson, one of the partners of “The Exchange” proposal for the AT&T site, lays out a point-by-point comparison of his bid and that of the winning “Museum on the Square” plan by local developers Hugh Futrell and Bill Carle.

It’s clear he feels the city made a major mistake in not going with his project which, he contends, would have generated up to $11 million more in income for the city and created more jobs.

The big difference is that his plan called for a 152-boutique hotel while the Futrell-Carle plan called for four stories of office space and up to 45 apartments/condominiums.

Does he have a good grievance or does this come across as sour grapes?

To me, he raised some fair questions until the end when he took a slap at the winning project, which the City Council approved unanimously on June 29.

He noted: “Without even getting into questions of urban design and overall vision, we believe the city needs to be more closely questioned on what it is doing with the exceedingly important AT&T property. We would hope Santa Rosa works with the winning team in crafting a better financial deal for the city and a more forward-thinking use for the building . . . .”

The sounds like grapes to me. A fine whine.

– Paul Gullixson