Plans to replace Napa Kohl’s with hotel, apartments, shopping move forward

By Jennifer Huffman, North Bay Business Journal Plans to create downtown Napa’s largest private development — one that could cost $250 million and displace Kohl’s department store — are moving forward. Developers Zapolski Real Estate has come to an agreement with the city to purchase the parking lot on the north side of the Kohl’s building. That clears the way to start the redevelopment process for a 2.2-acre site. Zapolski Real Estate already owns the Kohl’s building — along with the adjacent Gordon Building at First and Browns streets and the entire First Street Napa project, formerly known as the Napa Town Center, that stretches two blocks to the west. This new effort is known as the Napa Parkway Plaza project. A total of 120 apartments for rent, a 210-room hotel and 35,000 square feet commercial space for lease will replace the existing Kohl’s building and parking lot. If all goes as planned, the downtown Napa Kohl’s will eventually move to a site at 333 Soscol Ave. near Auto Row. According to the developer of that site, Ronmor, the Kohl’s lease is in the process of being completed. “We’re hoping by this fall to have something concluded” with the Kohl’s lease, said Doug Porozni, vice president at Ronmor. “I don’t see anything in the way right now to prevent us from doing that.” $200M downtown Napa project a ‘game-changer’ After years of work redeveloping First Street Napa, “We’re finally getting momentum,” said Andrew Mazotti, director, Zapolski Real Estate. The company wants to continue that progress at the “underused” Kohl’s site, he said. A few other things have to happen...

It all comes together at First Street Napa

By Craig Smith, Napa Valley Register If you’ve wondered when the shops in First Street Napa would fill up, wonder no more – it’s happening now. “We’re 70% leased,” said Andrew Mazotti of Zapolski Real Estate, “and 70% of those are locally owned.” A number of new businesses are still under construction and interest in the property is high. “We signed five new leases in just the last six weeks,” added Mazotti. Some of the tenants will be nationally owned, which is important to create a good offering for locals. “We’ll sign some national tenants, in order to create a good balance.” The five most recent tenants to sign – Honey Whiskey boutique, Habituate Lifestyle + Interiors, Tay & Grace, I Elle and C’est La Paire – are all women-owned. Some of those owners are young and/or new to retail, but they know what they are doing. “These women are all professionals and we believe in them. We’re proud to provide them an environment in which to succeed,” said Mazotti. One of those five businesses is Honey Whiskey, owned by Alexis Macias, who is Latina and 23 years old. She describes Honey Whiskey as “a lifestyle, contemporary boutique.” Macias believes that all women deserve to look their best. She carries sizes from extra small to 3XL. Honey Whiskey offers a variety of lines, including Lovestitch and Olive & Pique. She laughed and added that her other lines are a secret. “You have to come in to see everything.” Her jewelry is handwoven by Soul Rebel in Berkeley, a black-owned LGBTQ business owned by artist Fred Lewis. Macias has been...

Kelly creates new mural for First Street Napa

Napa artist Mikey Kelly works on a new mural at First Street Napa. The mural uses what Kelly called a “cipher based” design system. “I selected to use Napa as the keyword and the lines of the mural will be the visual representation of the words ‘We Love You’ in the shape of a big heart. I thought that with the shelter-at-home order and the environment that we are all living in now that a bit of caring and love is what we all need,” said Kelly. Photo by Sarah Anne Risk for the Napa Valley...

Landmark Gordon Building poised for a new life in downtown Napa

By Jennifer Huffman, Napa County Register Some old buildings are said to have ghosts. Napa’s Gordon Building has a ghost hallway. The “hallway” is what’s left of the original second story in the 91-year-old downtown Napa building. The vintage doors in the hallway were once entries to private offices. Today, those doors remain, but only for looks. Behind the doors is a completely open space, waiting to be claimed by new tenants. Until then, the hallway looks like something from a movie set – a place where someone like detective Sam Spade might have an office. Todd Zapolski, managing partner of Gordon Ventures, hosted an event Wednesday night to celebrate his re-launch of the property. The 20,000-square-foot Gordon Building is located at the northeast corner of First and Coombs streets. “This is pretty special,” Zapolski said. He is proud to have preserved “a beautiful piece of architecture,” he said. For decades the property stood mostly vacant; then in 2014, significant damage as a result of the Napa earthquake caused it to be red tagged and unable to be occupied. As part of the seismic strengthening, the restoration has painstakingly repaired the building’s Italian fire-brick exterior and grand interior, retaining its classic charm. “This has been an extensive project, and we’ve been careful to maintain the Gordon Building’s grace while making significant structural improvements,” said Zapolski, who is offering new space for a flagship retailer and offices. “I feel fortunate to have had the chance to contribute to the longevity of this local treasure, and to begin welcoming the thriving business that will be the foundation of its long future,” he said. Constructed...

Copperfield’s Books returns to downtown Napa

By Jennifer Huffman, Napa Valley Register Copperfield’s Books is returning to downtown Napa – directly across the street from where it was once located back in the 1980s. Part of the First Street Napa development, the new 3,665 square foot space will offer “tremendous ambiance, while staying true to its brick-and-mortar roots and continued commitment to literature, education and community,” said a news release. The bookstore is currently located in Bel Aire Plaza next to Whole Foods. The future home of Copperfield’s is located on the 1300 block of First Street across from Eiko’s restaurant. A toy store was one of the more recent tenants of that space. During the days of the Napa Town Center, it was the front the of the former McCaulou’s space. “Being so community oriented, we’re delighted to be back in the vibrant downtown environment we once occupied,” said Paul Jaffe, president, Copperfield’s Books. “With the renewal of the city center, we are ready to move back to the street where we opened the very first Napa Copperfield’s Books 30 years ago. We look forward to being part of the exciting retail environment at First Street Napa.” “Copperfield’s return to downtown is a very welcome reunion,” said Joe Fischer of Strong & Hayden. Fischer is the commercial broker working on the First Street Napa project. Jaffe explained that in the 1980s, Copperfield’s in Napa was once located at the corner of First and Main streets (across the street from Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Co.). Later, it moved to the other corner of First and Randolph streets (now Napa Square). In addition to providing a...

New retailers coming to First Street Napa: Cupcake, I-ELLE, Wayfarer, Wade Cellars, Newfound Wines

By Jennifer Huffman, Napa Valley Register Three new tenants — two retailers and one wine business — are the newest merchants announced for downtown’s First Street Napa complex. Two specialty stores, Cupcake and I-ELLE, will open in the Napa development this spring, “bringing distinctive styles to design-minded customers of all ages,” said a news release. In addition, Wayfarer, Wade Cellars and Newfound Wines recently opened an office on the second floor of the former McCaulou’s department store. That space is now remodeled and leased for office use. Cupcake children’s wear A Northern California children’s boutique since 2005, Cupcake offers “a curated mix of clothing, gifts and accessories” for babies and children to age 10, said a news release. Founder Jenny Romeyn set out to create “a beautiful, imaginative shopping environment filled with creative, on-trend pieces for sweet and stylish kids, and has attracted a loyal following at her Santa Rosa and Healdsburg locations,” said the release. “There’s such creativity in children’s fashion and the designers we carry do an amazing job combining playful details with a modern aesthetic,” said Romeyn. “We’re thrilled to bring our stylish range of baby and children’s clothing and gifts as well as exceptional customer service to Napa,” she said. “Our customers will also find exclusive items and product lines we’ve selected just for this store.” Cupcake is scheduled to open in the in Suite 325 across from Compline, near the cork oak tree. I-ELLE and Tukked I-ELLE, a boutique offering “high-quality staple pieces with lasting style,” will move from Yountville to First Street Napa. The store, founded by the late Cathy Levine, is now...