Archer hotel construction to cause First Street closures

Concrete pouring at the future Archer hotel in downtown Napa will require closures of First Street. They will begin early Wednesday morning and recur about once a week through mid-August. The hotel is scheduled to open in 2017.

Howard Yune, Register

Before the Archer hotel can open in downtown Napa, First Street must close – for a morning at a time, starting Wednesday.

The city has announced shutdowns in both directions on the block of First Street where the five-story, 183-room Archer is going up floor by floor. Public works staff will close the downtown route between Randolph and Coombs streets 11 times through mid-August, roughly once a week, as construction crews pour concrete for the framework of the hotel and restaurant complex scheduled to open in the spring of 2017.

First Street will be off-limits to vehicles starting no later than 4 a.m. Wednesday, and remain closed for at least eight hours during the pouring of a horizontal concrete slab, the city said in a Nixle announcement. Other slab pours will trigger similar eight-hour closures, while the street will shut for four hours or more on mornings when workers are pouring concrete vertically.

Roadblocks on First Street are expected to take 1½ to two hours to install and take down on each day of concrete pouring, according to Brian Hansen, project superintendent for the Deacon Corp. construction firm. The company expects to pour 60 to 70 cubic yards of concrete per hour during the work, or about 540 cubic yards for a horizontal slab.

All street shutdowns will begin at or before 4 a.m. and are scheduled as follows:

Wednesday: slab pour

June 21: vertical pour

June 28: slab pour

July 7: vertical pour

July 13: slab pour

July 19: vertical pour

July 20: slab pour

July 25: vertical pour

Aug. 8: slab pour

Aug. 11: vertical pour

Aug. 15: upper roof pour (minimum four hours)

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During concrete pouring at the Archer, westbound traffic will be routed from Coombs Street south to Second Street, then return to First at Randolph Street. Eastbound drivers will be detoured to Second at Randolph and use Coombs to return to First.

Pouring dates are subject to change, the city announced.

Despite the prospect of nearly a dozen shutdowns, some downtown merchants called the inconvenience tolerable because of the early-morning starts and the avoidance of work on weekends when more tourists visit the city – not to mention the expected increase in visitors once the Archer hotel is ready.

“You kind of shrug. This is the necessary evil and the good far outweighs the bad,” said Craig Smith, executive director for the Napa Downtown Association. It’s being done in the middle of week at a time when it has the least impact on foot and vehicular traffic.”

“People don’t like it very much when the streets are closed,” said Barbara Wiggins, whose Mustard Seed Clothing Co. storefront faces the Archer block, “but that’s OK. The faster they get the hotel done, the better off all of us are.

“Not much we can do, except I will try to run a lot of promotions in my store and talk a lot about our new back-door entrance. I just want to get the hotel open. I want to go up top and have a drink!”

Built on the site of the former Merrill’s drugstore, the Archer is incorporating the former building’s terracotta First Street façade into its otherwise modernist exterior design. The hotel will include a rooftop bar and a restaurant named Charlie Palmer Steak, both of which will be operated by the Charlie Palmer Group.

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City of Napa/Town of Yountville Reporter

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.