Borreo Building

The Borreo Building at Third Street and Soscol Avenue will be redeveloped for a restaurant.

Napa’s City Council approved a recommended $200,000 discount for the partnership that is buying the historic Borreo building downtown.

The discount was necessary to repair damage from the August earthquake, which occurred a month after West Pueblo Partners agreed to buy the building but before the sale closed.

The developers, including Michael L. Holcomb, agreed to buy the building “as is” for $1.9 million, city staffers said. That meant the city, which still technically owned the building, is responsible for fixing the damage or compensating Holcomb to make the repairs himself.

City Manager Mike Parness said the developers will be making improvements to the property. It made sense to provide the new owners a discount and let his contractors fix the damage during the renovations.

Councilman Peter Mott said he was concerned that the city spent $1.1 million retrofitting the building years earlier and wondered if the city could recoup some of its investment, considering the $200,000 damage.

But Councilwoman Juliana Inman, an architect, said retrofitting isn’t intended to prevent all damage.

It was for patrons to “safely exit the building and not have the floor or roof collapse on you,” she said.

City officials said the building actually withstood the quake well, considering expectations, and Mott acknowledged that “the whole building might have fallen down” had the city not made improvements.

Parness said the city isn’t likely to receive financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fix the damage because the building had been vacant for four years and in the process of being sold to private owners.

“It’s not clear if we qualify,” he said.

Holcomb is close to signing a tenant for the building, staffers said. The announcement could come within weeks.

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