ST. HELENA — Todd White and Jeff Feeney’s effort to develop a hotel on Carl Doumani’s Mills Lane property has ended.
The duo, operating under the name Enhance St. Helena LLC, acquired the property last December for only $10,000 down on a $6 million deal.
Doumani had tried unsuccessfully to develop up to 80,000 square feet of office space on the land, but White and Feeney said they planned to build a hotel.
“We worked closely with Carl on an arrangement last year on the property that gave us some time to see if we could get a hotel project on the site, as we believe a hotel is the highest and best use for the site and the city,” Feeney said last week in a statement.
On Oct. 23, White and Feeney transferred the property back to Doumani with a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure indicating a principal balance of $5,990,000.
Doumani said he hasn’t had time to decide his next step.
“I just got it back, so I don’t have any grand idea yet,” he said.
White, the founder of Cheers! St. Helena, and Feeney, a real estate broker, teamed up in 2010 to revive the stalled Grandview hotel project. After the City Council agreed to increase the room count and relax affordable housing requirements, White and Feeney handed the project over to Presidio Companies, which still hasn’t broken ground.
They acquired the Doumani property last December, a month after the council rejected Doumani’s office plan in a 3-2 vote.
“For a variety of different reasons, our group decided not to invest in a hotel entitlement on the Mills Lane property and instead sought other hotel developers who would pursue an entitlement,” Feeney said.
“Our arrangement with Carl had a timeline and we were not successful in attracting a developer to move a project forward in that timeline. Hence, we have terminated our arrangement with him. We appreciate the opportunity to work with Carl and wish him well with the site.”