Early in the history of this blog, I bemoaned the closure of Copia in Napa, not so much for the loss of what Copia could have met to the Napa Valley, although that was also a loss, but for how the idle parcel undermined the fledgling walkability of Napa. I specifically suggested mixed-use development on the under-utilized portions of the Copia site as a way to build a more comprehensive urban fabric.
Two years later, I cheered when a local developer began making serious noises doing the exact kind of mixed-use development that I had proposed.
Eighteen months, that effort has faded away, but another, seemingly more solid development concept is being put forth, one that incorporates a revitalization of the original Copia concept by the Culinary Institute of America combined with mixed-use development by Triad Development.
In my earlier posts, I had been thinking of the mixed-use development on the north side of First Street, occupying the same site as Copia. The current proposal calls for the mixed-use development on the south side of First. Honestly, I didn’t realize that the Copia ownership extended south of First, but I don’t care where the mixed-use fits, as long as it extended the core of urban walkability from downtown Napa past Soscal Avenue.
Based on the history of failed hopes since the 2008 closure of Copia, I know that this new proposal won’t have an easy path to implementation, but the role of the Culinary Institute seems to make this the strongest proposal yet and well worth following. It must be time for another trip to downtown Napa, the Oxbow Market, and the Copia site.
Next time, I’ll rejoice that Pope Francis seems to be devoted urbanist.
As always, your questions or comments will be appreciated. Please comment below or email me. And thanks for reading. - Dave Alden (firstname.lastname@example.org)