New ‘opportunity zones’ offer benefits to Napa investors, developers

By Jennifer Huffman, Napa Valley Register Napa’s Westwood and downtown neighborhoods might not seem to have much in common, but both areas should benefit from a new investment tool called opportunity zones. The rules around the program have taken shape in recent months, but a 2017 federal tax law offers significant tax breaks to investors who fund new developments, such as housing or commercial projects, or fund new businesses in those designated opportunity zones. Napa has two such zones: one in downtown Napa and one in the Westwood neighborhood west of Highway 29. In downtown, developers of a planned hotel at the site of the old post office and a makeover underway at the historic Gordon Building credit opportunity zone benefits with boosting their projects. “It’s a great opportunity for Napa,” said Robin Schabes, city of Napa economic development manager. Jim Keller, the co-developer of the Franklin Station hotel at Napa’s historic downtown post office, said benefits from the opportunity zone designation were the tipping point to bring on new partner Cypress Equities. “It’s a huge advantage,” said Keller. “It opens up the door for a lot more aggressive investment and more people to invest because of the benefits.” “Would this have happened if we weren’t in an opportunity zone?” Keller asked rhetorically. The chances were 50-50, he said. His five-story luxury hotel project is scheduled to have a preliminary review before the city’s Planning Commission on Thursday evening. Opportunity zones are a good thing for Napa, said Mayor Jill Techel. For those properties or buildings that would be expensive to rehabilitate, for example downtown Napa’s Gordon Building on...

Remodel of downtown Napa’s ornate Gordon building to begin

By Jennifer Huffman, Napa Valley Register It’s been sitting unused and empty since the August 2014 earthquake in Napa, but changes are in the works for downtown’s historic Gordon Building. Property owner Todd Zapolski of Zapolski Holdings announced plans to begin a complete renovation and earthquake retrofit of the 1930s-era structure, noteworthy for its glazed terra cotta siding and cast-molded floral detailing. “It’s a jewel,” said Zapolski. “It’s an iconic piece of downtown and we want to get it back in service.” Designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, the Gordon Building is located at 1130 First St. The major section facing First was completed in 1929, the section in back along Coombs Street Plaza in 1935. A partnership including Zapolski Holdings bought the building in 2013 from George and Jacqueline Altamura. The plan is to fold it into the First Street Napa project on the west side of Coombs Street Plaza. Zapolski Real Estate and partner Trademark Property Company are redeveloping that center, which now includes tenants such as Lululemon, Tommy Bahama, Lush, Kalifornia Jean Bar, Mecox and others. The Archer Hotel Napa, developed by LodgeWorks Partners, anchors the block. After Zapolski’s 2013 purchase, some commercial tenants remained in the Gordon Building. Space for lease was advertised. “Then the earthquake hit and we pretty much shut it down,” said Zapolski. Today, the building requires extensive retrofitting and major structural improvements, Zapolski said. “It’s very complicated engineering,” but, “once it’s done it’s an absolute tank.” From the outside the Gordon Building will retain its historical look, he said. The two-story, 20,000-square-foot building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places...

Zapolski Real Estate Dives In, Spearheads $500m Worth of Investment in Downtown Napa

From The Registry: Bay Area Real Estate By Meghan Hall Napa Valley, and in particular downtown Napa, has opened itself up to development in recent years. In 2018, 39 new and expanding business were completed and opened in downtown, which totaled 87,000 square feet of space, according to Napa City Council’s Annual Commercial Business and Construction Update. Developers are taking notice, with one Napa-based developer leading the charge. Since the beginning of the market cycle, Zapolski Real Estate has emerged as an epicenter of development in the Napa, and has acquired, developed or entitled close to $500 million in commercial real estate projects, according to the firm’s Director and County of Napa Planning Commissioner Andrew Mazotti. “If you take our current redevelopment, which includes our shops, our offices, the Gordon Building and the Archer Hotel, and if you combine the pieces we own that are slated for future redevelopment, we are probably looking at close to $500 million when all is said and done,” stated Mazotti. “That is the totality of the redevelopment.” Zapolski Real Estate was founded in 1998 and, and at the beginning of the last market cycle, began acquiring property throughout downtown Napa, noting its potential to grow as locals and government officials began opening the city up to development. “If you go to places like Walnut Creek or Marin, those markets are very well-established. Napa is an emerging market. We believe one day we will look back and say that [these investments] were part of the beginning of downtown Napa.” Mazotti credits Napa’s growth to two critical initiatives put in place by the City and...

lululemon athletica to Open at First Street Napa in September

From The Registry Bay Area Real Estate NAPA, Calif. (September 4, 2018) – First Street Napa – a 325,000-square-foot mixed-use development in the heart of Downtown Napa that will encompass 45 retail shops and restaurants, new creative office space, and the 183-room Archer Hotel Napa – is pleased to announce the mid-September opening of lululemon athletica at 1220 First Street, adjacent to State & First and Mecox. lululemon is an athletic apparel company that aims to create stylish, functional products that enable people to live a healthy, active lifestyle. “The commitment from lululemon to open at First Street Napa is a big endorsement for our vision and the future of Downtown Napa. lululemon has long been a top requested store and we are pleased to deliver this caliber of retailer for our locals and visitors,” said Todd Zapolski, managing partner of Zapolski Real Estate. First Street Napa, owned and managed by Zapolski Real Estate, LLC and Trademark Property Company, welcomed its first series of shops and restaurants in fall 2017 with continued openings phased throughout 2018. Tenants currently open are Archer Hotel Napa, Charlie Palmer Steak Napa, Overland Sheepskin Co., Compline wine bar + restaurant + merchant, Napa Valley Jewelers, Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar, Eiko’s Modern Japanese Cuisine, Lush, Brown Estate, Mecox, Tommy Bahama, Kalifornia Jean Bar, Pacific Union International, Silicon Valley Bank and State & First.. Coming soon are Napastäk and Makers Market. For more information, please visit...

Todd Zapolski appears on Napa Valley Inside Out with Latife Hayson

Todd Zapolski, real estate developer extraordinaire, joins Latife Hayson on this week’s Napa Valley Inside Out video podcast to discuss his latest triumph – the Archer Hotel and First Street Napa. He shares how he got his start in real estate, how he and the late Leslie Rudd built a portfolio worth in excess of a half a billion dollars in assets, and the many challenges he faced in developing three entire blocks in downtown Napa – from the 2014 earthquake to the 2016 floods and the 2017 October wildfires. Todd and Latife talk about tourism, luxury investment in Napa proper and much...