Napa has come a long way as a business destination

As a child the excitement in downtown Napa was to go to lunch counter at Woolworth's and order a grilled (not boiled or fried) hot dog, really thin fries and 'orange' drink that competed with McDonald's orange drink – neither available in the 21st century. Downtown Napa has come a long way since 1975.

What were once 'local' businesses in Napa's Town Center, like Woolworth's, Merrill's Drugstore, McCaulou's and Miller's Outpost stores have been replaced with over 325,000 square feet of new construction, now featuring boutiques, wine bars and upscale restaurants by Zapolski Real Estate, which owns the property with Trademark Property Company (

The Archer Hotel Napa, a five-story hotel hosts 183 guest rooms is now open. As reported here in years past, this project has endured major setbacks: the October 2017 wildfires in Napa, the August 2014 earthquake, and heavy rains last winter and spring that delayed construction.

Let this now be your guide to shopping in downtown.


Archer Hotel Napa ( Charlie Palmer Steak Napa

Located inside Archer Hotel Napa the locals love the happy hour (food, spirits, and wine included in happy hour). Locals and tourist are enjoying a traditional with some unusual twists on the menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner all well executed by Charlie Palmer (

Compline Wine Bar, Restaurant & Merchant

Master sommelier Matt Stamp and partner Ryan Stetins, both Napa locals, opened their new wine bar, restaurant and wine shop;

Brown Downtown Napa

The Brown Estate Winery is located in St. Helena. They now have a tasting lounge on the second floor of the old Napa Register building, at the corner of First and Coombs;

Napa Valley Jewelers

Napa Valley Jewelers has been the patient retailer. Here for the past 25 years and now in a new beautiful location in the plaza;

Eiko's Modern Japanese Cuisine

Eiko's Sushi remains unchanged, consistent and tasty!;

State & First by Maris Collective

Maris will open a 3,000- square-foot shop featuring home goods that speak to the extraordinary but simple life;

Overland Sheepskin Co.

Overland Sheepskin Co., relocated from nearby Yountville, its shop location for the past 28 years;


Lush, specializes in fresh, handmade cosmetics and bath items;

Napastak Napa Valley

Napastak is an epicurean boutique specializing in unique gourmet foods;

Another noteworthy retail development – the Century Center project on Imola that hosts the Cinemark Theatre, In-Shape, Forge, Napa Valley Velo and 120 room Hampton Inn has added:

NapaSport a true Sports Bar yet family friendly but ideal for sports fans.

Chetuphon Thai Bistro. Traditional menu great atmosphere and another outside patio.

What does leasing one of these spaces cost? Landlords are keeping their numbers close to the vest and not advertising them publicly. With the high triple-net rents due to new construction costs, thus a new tax rate, it costs $4.50–$6 a square foot monthly to lease a retail space in Napa. Second generation (older buildings) can reduce that by $1–$2 per square foot. It is a new day in Napa, and it is not 1975 anymore.


The office market in the Napa city limits excluding the business parks has seen significantly elevated rents that especially holds true downtown. There are several contributing factors: the lowest vacancy rates we have seen, the hype of the downtown redevelopment, the newer buildings being constructed, the higher costs of construction and the non-existent inventory in the pipeline for smaller office space. Interestingly enough the largest part of the vacancy is in the 4,000 to 6,000 square foot range.

Running a CoStar report for offices over 5,000 square feet is showing a vacancy of 2.1 percent, which is down from a high of over 16 percent in 2010. Average asking rents in the same period have gone from a low of $2 per square foot monthly to $2.75. The newer buildings are asking $3–$5.


Light-industrial space in the city of Napa is more scarce than other product type and the tightest it has likely ever been. There is still a demand valleywide for space with floor drains and temperature control, but that type of space is basically full and/or nonexistent.

Based on information pulled from CoStar the vacancy rate in 2010 was approximately 8 percent and it is now approximately 2 percent if you include flex space. Asking rates remained basically flat 2008–2016 at 90 cents–$1, and they are currently in the $1.35–$1.55 range.

Corrections, April 9, 2018: The following stores are already open at First Street Napa: Compline Wine Bar, Restaurant & Merchant; Brown Downtown Napa; Napa Valley Jewelers; Eiko's Modern Japanese Cuisine; State & First by Maris Collective; and Overland Sheepskin Co. The original story said they had yet to open.

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