After years in limbo, the proposed St. Regis resort development at Stanly Lane has secured financing, paving the way for the creation of the luxury hotel property in south Napa.
This week, SKB Hotel Group of Portland, Ore., announced it had joined forces with Selby and Randy Nichols of the Nichols Partnership “to develop a 95 acre resort hotel/spa/villas and winery in Napa, budgeted at $275 million,” a news release said.
In 2010, the Napa City Council unanimously approved a five-star St. Regis resort on rolling vineyard land on Stanly Lane. The project, including 245 guest and resident units and a small winery, would be built among vines at the city's southern entry. It would occupy 93 acres of the 700-acre Stanly Ranch, most of which remains set aside for wineries and vineyards.
The project was led by developer Jeff Selby of SR Napa LLC of Colorado. However, the recession stalled financing plans.
SKB Hotel Group is a division of ScanlanKemperBard Companies (SKB), a real estate private equity firm based in Portland, Ore. SKB Hotel Group is the equity arm and co-developer of the Stanly Lane project, said SKB CEO Bob Scanlan.
“After seven years of planning and working with the city of Napa, the timing now is perfect. We plan to break ground next spring,” Selby said in a news release.
Scanlan said the Napa project will remain a five-star hotel, but it may not be a St. Regis brand.
“We’re certainly not opposed to the St. Regis (brand) but we haven’t ruled out someone else,” Scanlan said. The CEO said the firm had been studying the hotel sector for several months. “Along the way, we became aware of Jeff Selby,” and the proposed St. Regis project. “We reached out to them,” and “joined forces.”
“We think the four- and five-star hotel business is going to be very good in the next seven to 10 years,” Scanlan said. “Napa is a worldwide recognized brand name,” he noted. “We cannot come up with a better circumstance. The timing was very, very good.”
SKB has worked with other California projects, but this would be its first in Napa, Scanlan said.
“We have always been interested in Napa,” but “we’ve never seen an opportunity like this.”
Until the recession ended, “The economy was not helpful but we think that is behind us. This project, at this time, at that site in Napa, has all of us quite excited,” Scanlan said.
The resort property will include 150 hotel rooms, meeting space, 70 wholly owned and 25 fractionally owned villas and a 32,500-square-foot winery, he said. Scanlan hopes to identify a resort brand by November or December of this year, if not sooner.
Lead developer Jeff Selby is already meeting with architects, Scanlan said. Selby could not be reached for comment on this story.
Mike Allen, associate planner with the city, said he had been approached by another development group that said they were considering a Park Hyatt brand for the resort.
Regardless of the name, “it sounds to me like there is a desire” to get the project moving, he said. “I’m hopeful” that a design review application for the project is submitted this summer, Allen said. “We’re certainly hopeful that someone comes in and builds this project.”
Napa developer Keith Rogal said the news was a good thing for Napa.
“It’s an affirmation of what a great destination this is,” said Rogal. “I’m excited for the Carneros region and the city of Napa because it shows that this is a part of the valley that is clearly accepted as a special place to visit.”
The news “is a further indication about the investment side of the economy kicking into gear,” Rogal said.
The developer said he had not been approached by SKB regarding his reuse project at Copia.
Todd Zapolski, a Napa developer who’s overseeing the rebranding and renovation of the Shops and Napa Center and an accompanying hotel, said he was pleased to hear the Stanly Lane resort would move forward.
“It’s what we need,” said Zapolski. “I think that will only benefit what we are trying to do in downtown Napa,” he said.
Zapolski said he has not talked with SKB about financing his own hotel project. “We’re making progress,” with his downtown project, he said. “All of this just helps the mood. Anything happening is good for all of us.”