Copia hotel proposal sought to revitalize site

[caption id="attachment_90355" align="alignnone" width="500"] Artist rendering of the proposed hotel near the former Copia center in central Napa, as seen from the gardens. (image credit: BAR Architects)[/caption]

NAPA -- Plans are moving ahead at a cautious pace in the review process for a proposed boutique five-story, 200-room Copia Hotel and other improvements to be built adjacent to the former Copia wine, food and arts center at 500 First St.

This 80,000 square foot cultural facility built on 17 acres adjacent to the Napa River, was shuttered in 2008 following lengthy bankruptcy proceedings.

Developer Keith Rogal, principal with Rogal+Associates, believes this site in the picturesque Napa Riverbend, known as the Oxbow District, can become a key element in a revitalized city of Napa master plan.

He is working with the Copia Liquidation Trust (CLT) and ACA Financial Guaranty Corp. -- the bondholder that acquired the property and its $78 million debt upon its bankruptcy -- to develop a plan that would breathe life back to the site and transform it into a viable tourist destination and a catalyst for positive change in this section of the city.

CLT’s original concept contemplated development of the entire 17-acre property. The development concept included a new 175,652-square-foot 188-room hotel including 7,400 square feet of conference space, 50,000 square feet of new retail space and 180 new residential townhomes -- in addition to proposing two floors (7,200 square feet) of underground parking for 266 vehicles. 

The concept also included an enhanced theater, a riverfront park, culinary gardens, along with a public square and restrooms.

On February 11 CLT submitted development plans focusing on the northern 11 acres of the property. The revised plan reduces the amount of new retail space from 50,000 square feet to 9,000, increased meeting and conference space, and creates an outdoor gathering area in the north parking lot. The number of hotel rooms was also increased from 188 to 200. 

However, one public group -- the Coalition to Preserve Copia led by Harry Price and John Salmon -- believes Copia should be exclusively utilized as a conference and meeting center in the future with local ownership and/or possibly seeing the Copia deeded to the City of Napa.

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