The mall was built in downtown Santa Rosa in 1983, resulting in the demolition of various downtown buildings, including a courthouse.Macy's, the first store in the development, opened in 1981. Development was delayed for many years due to legal disputes between developers Ernest Hahn and Hugh Codding, the latter of whom owned nearby Coddingtown Mall. Codding lost the settlement.
In an interview with Gaye LeBaron, Hugh Codding said the construction bonds for the Santa Rosa Plaza were paid in full with property tax revenues from the plaza businesses.
Mervyns closed in 2008 when the chain filed for bankruptcy. Two years later, the store became Forever 21.