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Cobblestone Homes Coming Attractions



With all of their communities sold out, what's on the drawing board for Cobblestone Homes in the near future? "We are in a slight lull right now", according to Joe Keith, founder and President of Cobblestone Homes, a company he started in 1974, "But we have quite a few things coming up soon." That doesn't seem too surprising considering that the popular homebuilding company builds about 130 homes per year, but the array of upcoming projects may surprise those familiar with the Cobblestone Homes Fountaingrove communities that put them on the map. Aside from Washington Creek, a luxurious community of 37 homes in a creekside setting in Petaluma off of E. Washington Street, also on the east side, Cobblestone has a 74-unit apartment complex off McDowell Avenue on the drawing board. On the west side of town on Petaluma Blvd. North, across from the Factory Outlet, Cobblestone Homes is currently in the planning stage for a "mixed product" community, one that combines 3 product types; with apartments along the road frontage, high density housing behind and larger, single family homes farther up the hillside. On Petaluma Blvd. South, beyond the Veterans Building, Cobblestone Homes plans to build 55 homes, including 21 homes on 5,000 square foot home sites and larger homes going up the hill. Prices are planned to start from approximately $450,000 for the smaller product and from approximately $650,000 for the larger homes.

Cobblestone Homes will soon start construction for their Washington Creek community, located in Petaluma.

Cobblestone Homes will soon start construction for their
Washington Creek community, located in Petaluma.

"We have used LeDuc & Dexter as our plumbing contractor whenever possible", explains Keith. "They have done the majority of our work in Fountaingrove and now we are building 90 apartment units with them off Hwy.12 near Mission in Santa Rosa. We have had a very successful working relationship over the years. I think I remember when Arty and Tom were carrying the tools. They've built a great management team. I work closely with Jim Kempers now and I have to say that from the rough-in plumbing to the job completion and service calls, these guys are hard to beat. I don't use LeDuc & Dexter exclusively, so I'm able to compare them to the other plumbing contractors and there just isn't anyone better."

Keith enthusiastically describes another Cobblestone Homes project starting soon in Santa Rosa as "work force housing". It's a 130-unit community located south of Sebastopol Road and east of Stony Point. The homes will have a selling price of approximately $300,000, which is now considered the entry-level market. "We must have this housing in Sonoma County for our police, firefighters and teachers and people with that level of income."

Additionally, Cobblestone is serving the community as a designated Building Captain, along with Christopherson Homes, in the HomeAid project in Santa Rosa. This 10-unit apartment complex is being built to serve as housing for temporary homeless families, women in crisis pregnancy and victims of domestic violence.

Also on the list of upcoming projects for Cobblestone Homes is an exclusive 23-home community in Novato named Tamalpais Hill, grading for the site is about to begin.

If you are experiencing "a slight lull" as Joe Keith describes it, it certainly is nice to have "Coming Attractions".

Dehlinger Winery
The Return of a Favorite Son



Overhead piping at Dehlinger Winery's new addition includes glycol and refrigeration, plus LeDuc & Dexter's metal holding rack and their copper piping for industrial hot and cold water.

Overhead piping at Dehlinger Winery's new
addition includes black steel LPG line, cold water, compressed air, insulated and jacketed 160-degree and 180-degree hot water.

In 1975 when there seemed to be only a handful of prominent wineries in Sonoma County, Dan Dehlinger was busy building Dehlinger Winery, which he also designed. Owned and operated by his winemaker brother Tom, Dehlinger Winery soon made a name for itself with signature Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet from their estate grown Russian River Valley vineyards.

After twenty years in Georgia, Dan Dehlinger has returned again to Dehlinger Winery to design and build an expansion of the original facility making it almost three times bigger. When asked how the original winery measures up to today's standards Dehlinger jokes, "It was right for 1975." It was the first building he designed. The original building was 4,800 square feet. In 1987 Dehlinger Winery was remodeled to 8,000 square feet and remained that size until last year when this project began which will increase the size by an additional 15,000 square feet. Dan also worked on a building addition for Dry Creek Vineyards in 1977.

Dehlinger has spent the last 20 years as an architect for a firm in Georgia, where he also received his master's degree in Architecture from Georgia Tech. The building he completed before moving to California was a 700,000 square foot office/distribution facility for Mikasa, the familiar dishware company. "It was a concrete tilt-up structure with a rack support roof system, very complex. It was my last hurrah in Georgia", muses Dehlinger. On moving Back to California, he completed the California Architect's Board supplemental exam that is required of all architects licensed to practice in California

When Dan Dehlinger assembled his design/build subcontractors for Dehlinger Winery, he chose LeDuc & Dexter and has worked closely with Bill Zeeb on the water, air and gas plumbing. About LeDuc & Dexter, Dehlinger has this to say, "They are very helpful and easy to work with. All of the LeDuc & Dexter people I have dealt with are team players, and this has been a big relief when the inevitable co-ordination problems with the other trades arise. I have found I can rely on them to deliver. I expect we'll work on more projects together in the future."

At times it would seem Dehlinger could use all the help he can get in dealing with regulatory environment that is now the norm in Sonoma County. For instance, the outside winemaking production areas of a winery must have a septic system to handle all of the water that drains from this area, whether the source of that water is from the tap or from rain clouds. The building addition that ties into the original structure has been designed to have a roof to drain rain water away from the exterior production area, otherwise all the water that falls from the sky would have to be processed by a septic system at a terrific expense due to that volume of water. LeDuc & Dexter designed and installed the waste and sanitary lines for the winery as well as the underground gas lines.

Aside from building regulations, Dan Dehlinger says the biggest change he sees upon his return to Sonoma County is the housing situation, "Houses are really expensive", and he sighs. Fortunately, the Wine Country has a great antidote for this particular case of housing sticker shock a glass of 2000 Dehlinger Estate Pinot Noir.

Boot Camp Report Enlistments Up



LeDuc & Dexter's weekly Boot Camp class is taught by Residential Superintendent, Jim Hopper (top left).

LeDuc & Dexter's weekly Boot Camp class is taught by Residential Superintendent, Jim Hopper (top left)

You don't have to be an armed service veteran to understand the term Boot Camp . For most people it conjures up images of green recruits with a new rifle shooting, climbing, running and crawling to achieve the glorious stature of a battle-ready soldier. It's not exactly like that at LeDuc & Dexter, although there are similarities. Tom LeDuc explains, "Think about how dangerous it is to walk onto a construction site for the first time with no training. It's really dangerous. There are all kinds of things going on overhead and power lines to deal with - you're not sure where it's safe to walk plus you have to learn your job and do it!"

LeDuc & Dexter first introduced their Boot Camp training course last year to train new employees with little or no experience to become productive on the job after eleven 3-hour classes that meet once a week from 4 to 7 pm. Employees are not required to take the course, which is offered on a voluntary basis. A new group of employees have just started their Boot Camp. Jim Hopper, Residential Field Superintendent, is instructing the class, "On the job it's a rush-rush situation not a great learning environment for a new employee. They can get the basics in the classroom and then become more refined in their knowledge with on-the-job experience." New Safety Director, Kevin Delong, will assist Hopper in instructing the class in safety procedures.

Two of the students in the current Boot Camp are from the office staff. Tammy Townsend, an office employee for over 4 years who is being groomed to oversee purchasing and material flow for the whole company already sees the benefits of Boot Camp after a few classes, "In the office I see part numbers and prices - now I'm learning more about how the plumbing fits together and exactly what each part does and looks like. When I talk to the suppliers I have a better overall understanding for things like substituting parts. Claudia Carson, who heads the Receiving Department and works closely with Tammy, is also a Boot Camp student, "Never turn down an opportunity to learn more about your job. I'm grateful for the opportunity. I'm becoming more familiar with parts and I'm better at my job because of what I'm learning. I think it helps the company."



Featured Stories

Cobblestone Homes Coming Attractions

Dehlinger Winery The Return of a Favorite Son

Boot Camp Report Enlistments Up

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Editorial Credits

Cobblestone Homes
Joe Keith, President
LeDuc & Dexter
Jim Kempers, Residential Mgr.

Dehlinger Winery,
Dan Dehlinger, Architect
LeDuc & Dexter
Bill Zeeb, Commercial Mgr.
Rich Hoaglund, Commercial

LeDuc & Dexter
Tom LeDuc, President
Jim Hopper, Residential
Tammy Townsend,
   Purchasing Dept.
Claudia Carson,
   Receiving Dept.

Mark Dommer
Dommer & Associates

Tom LeDuc
LeDuc & Dexter

Contact Us

LeDuc & Dexter Inc.
2833A Dowd Drive
P.O. Box 11157
Santa Rosa, CA  95406
TEL (707) 575-1500
FAX (707) 575-1276
CL 548129

Tom LeDuc



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