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Masonite reuse contest winners selected
The Daily Journal
A panel of 15 citizens, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, including the owners of the Masonite site, met on April 2nd to select the winners of the Ukiah Valley Smart Growth Coalition’s Masonite Re-use Contest.
The 1st place winner, Noel Woodhouse, a graduate of UC Davis who is currently studying architecture and green building, commented, “I’m interested in applying what I’m learning to our beautiful, great landscape”. Mr. Woodhouse’s proposal envisions a campus housing several businesses that focus on sustainable products and services such as a building material re-use center, local sustainable building products, and a wide range of rental spaces for other commercial ventures. In their deliberations, the judges agreed that the large, 62-acre Masonite site necessitated co-locating several businesses. “A combination of projects is needed to utilize the size of this parcel”, said contest judge Tim Thornhill, partner at Mendocino Wine Company, emphasizing the scale of this particular site.
The 2nd place winner was Sheila Rogers. She led West Company for 15 years, providing consultation to local small businesses. Her concept for the Masonite site of a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs, set her entry apart from the others. When notified of her award, Ms. Rogers commented, “The entrepreneurial spirit in this valley is formidable; together we can do great things!”
Honorable Mentions entries include: a wine bottle recycling plant; a center for green products and technology; a Harry Potter theme park; a skateboard manufacturing plant and testing facility, and skate-park called “Skatetopia”; an algae growth facility for creating bio-diesel, and an ethanol plant that uses the effluent form the city sewage plant.
The winners will select from among 15 superb prizes from local businesses including: 55 gallons of Yokayo Biodiesel, a year’s worth of bread from Schat’s Bakery, McFadden Farm wine, Germain-Robin brandy, and gift certificates from local shops. The prizes will be awarded at the opening of the Farmers’ Market in Ukiah on May 3, 2008.
The contest was prompted by the coalition's opposition to any rezoning of the masonite industrial property for retail or other mixed uses as proposed by the new owners, Diversified Developers Realty. The contest was aimed at demonstrating that there are good ideas for continued industrial use at the site.
The top three winning proposals were selected from a field of 27 entries based upon criteria derived from the vision statement for the Ukiah Valley Area Plan. Winning entries included a building center utilizing sustainable and reused products and local services, a business venture campus focused on socially conscious for-profit organizations, and a production facility designed to improve forest health while generating jobs and economic activity by processing small diameter trees into round pole building kits and recycled paper into insulation. In addition, the judges selected seven honorable mentions.
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