The Napa Planning Commission quickly approved proposed renovations of the Shops at Napa Center on Thursday night, clearing the way for developer Todd Zapolski and team to implement their makeover of the downtown mall.
Within just a few moments of the start of the meeting, the commission voted its approval of the mall modifications. No one from the public stepped forward to address the commission, nor did commissioners comment.
Zapolski, who estimates that his investment will total $60 million to $70 million, bought the languishing mall in May from former owner George Altamura and partners.
The mall, formerly known as the Napa Town Center, was built in the mid-1980s. The center once achieved nearly 100 percent occupancy, but over the years retailers left and most tenants were placed on month-to-month leases.
The new ownership is pursuing higher-end tenants. The renovations could begin as early as this spring, said project director Peter Bartlett.
“We’re pleased to be moving forward with this initial phase,” Bartlett said on Friday. “The support we’ve received form the city and community has been really gratifying.”
“All we’re trying to do is improve this center and make it work for the city and tenants and shoppers,” both locals and visitors, Bartlett said.
While the makeover gathers momentum, “hopefully the community continues to support the merchants that are here,” Bartlett said.
According to city documents, improvements at the mall include new paint, lighting, fixtures, furniture, planters, fountains, walkway surfaces and redesigned common areas. New planter boxes, metal shutters and awnings, aluminum trellises and signs are also planned.
The project’s current design “is dated and not well integrated into downtown,” said the Planning Commission staff report.
Each of the buildings will have its own color scheme, with a palette that includes tones of beige, brown and gray.
A raised planter will be built around the mature cork oak tree near the rotunda. New pavers and an artificial turf area with “sculptural acorns” will also be added in the area, the report stated.