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Altamura sells Soscol hotel site to developer

Cambria Hotel in Napa

A Cambria Hotel will be built on an empty lot at 320 Soscol Ave., opposite a Hawthorn Suites on the north side of Tulocay Creek. On June 30, the Altamura family sold the hotel parcel to a new owner, Stratus Development Partners.

Just weeks after development plans for a new Cambria Hotel on Soscol Avenue were announced, Napa’s Altamura family sold its hotel parcel for $5.25 million to the planned developer of the property.

Stratus Development Partners, LLC of Irvine is now both developer and owner of the 2.5 acre parcel at 320 Soscol Ave. The sale was recorded on June 30.

The Cambria Hotel plans remain the same, said Andrew Wood of Stratus Development Partners. The entire project will cost $30 million to $35 million, said Wood.

“We feel this will be a real nice property,” which will help fill “the need for a select service boutique hotel” in the area.

The idea to buy the property from the Altamuras evolved as the hotel development process moved forward, said Wood.

“It was a natural next step,” and one that worked best for the Altamura family, he said.

Wood said that the idea to build a hotel in Napa was another natural step.

While he lives in Southern California, Wood said he has visited the Valley regularly over the past 40 years.

“Our family has been in the wine business since the early ‘70s,” in “an older, more successful,” winery or name that he declined to identify for privacy reasons.

“We have long-term family ties to Napa. It’s a part of California that we feel is part of our home.”

The 90-room Cambria Hotel could be compared to a more upscale version of Napa’s Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn or Embassy Suites, said Wood. Room rates have yet to be announced.

Construction could begin as soon as later this summer and should take an estimated 13 months, depending on weather, said Wood.

The four-story Cambria will be located opposite a Hawthorn Suites on the south side of Tulocay Creek.

In recent years, Tulocay Creek has become home to beavers, muskrats, mink, river otters and other wildlife, some followed closely by local photographers and naturists.

Wood said while the hotel footprint itself is set back off the creek, “We have had some discussion to allow public access or a viewing path,” for people to enjoy watching the wildlife.

“We love the idea to make it accessible to guests,” he said. “There will be a pathway,” but he couldn’t be more specific because it depends on coordinating with the county flood district.

When asked if the wildlife habitat could even become part of the hotel’s branding or visitor experience, Wood said he was open to different ideas.

“As a guest, when you stay in any other city or town, you like having narratives that tie you to the property and the area,” he said.

Stratus has developed 30 other hospitality properties, mostly in California said Wood. This will be the group’s first project in Napa County.

George Altamura declined comment Wednesday on the sale of the property. Before the sale, Altamura had spent more than a decade working with city staff to roll out the Soscol Avenue hotel project.

In early June, Choice Hotels International, Inc. announced that it signed an agreement with franchise partner Stratus Development Partners, LLC of Newport Beach to develop the hotel.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing another Cambria property to California, as the brand continues to expand to the West Coast. The Napa property will be our second Cambria in the region, and is the second project with Stratus Development Partners,” said Janis Cannon, senior vice president of upscale brands at Choice Hotels.

In January, Choice Hotels International announced it signed an agreement with Stratus Development Partners to develop a new Cambria hotel & suites in Sonoma County.

The Napa hotel is described as a “modern agrarian” work inspired by the Napa wine country and includes a spacious two-story lobby along with a bar, swimming pool, spa and other amenities.

Napa’s Planning Commission approved the project in April.

According to an earlier news release, Cambria Hotels are designed “to provide a unique and distinctive experience with the services and amenities that travelers demand, including casually tailored décor, flexible spaces for meeting or socializing and rooms that are comfortable and composed. The spa-like bathrooms offer contemporary fixtures, refined surfaces and abundant light.”

The 90 Cambria Hotel rooms will be in addition to several other lodging projects either approved or in the planning stage in Napa County.

Those include the 183-room Archer Napa, 148 rooms at a new Wine Train resort hotel and 253 rooms split between a Residence Inn and AC Hotel, near the Meritage Resort in south Napa.

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Business Editor

Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.

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