Coombs Street Plaza

Portions of the roadway in the former Coombs Street Plaza have been removed, as construction of the Archer Hotel nears completion.

J.L. Sousa, Register

The opening of the Archer hotel draws nearer – and with it the reopening of nearby Coombs Street to cars.

Closed and resurfaced in 2003 in a failed attempt to create a lively pedestrian walkway in downtown Napa, a block of Coombs is being converted into an access route from First Street north to the Pearl Street parking garage.

The timing of the street’s reopening will be linked to the “soft” opening in October of the five-story, 183-room Archer, whose guests will park their cars in garage spaces reserved for them.

Dismantling of the Coombs Street promenade started in mid-August. The city will first resurface the south end of the route intersecting First Street, according to Tim Wood, a senior development engineer. The southern portion of Coombs, funneling vehicles into the parking structure, should be ready on or about Oct. 1, he said.

Coombs Street will become a one-way, northbound-only route with a single 12-foot vehicle lane and a 5-foot bicycle lane, said Wood. The south and north thirds will be paved in asphalt with a concrete central section to support garbage and delivery trucks, and the north third also will include a vehicle-slowing “speed table” of raised concrete. Curbside parking spaces will be created in the southern third of the block.

Work should be completed around Thanksgiving weekend in late November, Wood added.

The Archer will first receive a temporary occupancy permit to allow the arrival of hotel workers for four to six weeks of training, then will gain a permanent permit that will clear the way for guests, Wood said.

LodgeWorks Partners LP, the Wichita, Kansas-based developer of the Archer, will settle on an official opening date after a vice president visits the Napa construction site, spokeswoman Cheryl Gilliam said.

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A pact between LodgeWorks and the city reserves 145 parking spaces at the Pearl Street garage for visitors at the Archer, which will also house the Charlie Palmer Steak restaurant, a bar and a rooftop lounge.

Occupying the site of the former Merrill’s drugstore building – and incorporating part of its storefront façade – the Archer is one of two major projects intended to boost commerce at the heart of downtown on First Street. A short stroll to the west, the developer Todd Zapolski is overhauling the old Napa Town Center into First Street Napa, a retail, restaurant and office complex estimated to cost $200 million.

“Our anchor is Napa; Napa is why people live there, come downtown and like to visit,” Zapolski said in June. “Being flanked by the Andaz (the First Street hotel that opened in 2009) and Archer, we have traffic generators there. There will be 500 people a night at those two properties, walking in and out.”


Howard Yune covers the city of Napa and the town of Yountville. He has been a reporter and photographer for the Register since 2011, and previously wrote for the Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Anaheim Bulletin and Coos Bay (Oregon) World.