On Tuesday, the Napa City Council will decide whether a 253-room hotel planned for the city’s south side is worth the pressure its future workers may put on a tight and costly housing supply.
A council vote is the final hurdle facing Pacific Hospitality Group as it seeks city permits for a four-story Marriott-branded hotel at the Napa Valley Commons, near the Meritage resort it has operated since 2006. The lodging is the centerpiece of a development that also would include a 26,000-square-foot winery on the premises, a two-story office building totaling 30,000 square feet, and 441 parking spaces to serve the site.
Since releasing plans for the Marriott more than a year ago, Pacific Hospitality has faced the headwind of opposition from local housing advocates who have argued the hotel would create hundreds more low-wage jobs, forcing employees to choose between income-eating Napa rents and long commutes that would worsen traffic congestion.
In May, members of the Napa Housing Coalition called on the city’s Planning Commission to require more than the mandatory $1.2 million into Napa’s affordable housing fund, urging the city to also require the builder to directly create housing for families on below-median incomes. Planners endorsed the hotel complex but asked developers to find a quicker route to adding to the housing supply.
Tony Zand, a Napa attorney representing Pacific Hospitality, has said he has spoken with the city Housing Authority, Satellite Affordable Housing Associates, Gasser Foundation and other nonprofits to pursue possible partnerships for housing construction.
Occupying an 11.5-acre site at Highway 221 and Napa Valley Corporate Way, the hotel would carry two sub-brands of the Marriott International chain – 153 rooms under the AC Hotel label directed at younger vacationers, and 100 units at a Residence Inn oriented toward business travelers. The two sections would be equipped with separate entrances, check-in desks and lobbies but would share laundry and other services, as well as the Meritage’s existing shuttle bus service to downtown Napa.
Also Tuesday, council members will vote on allotting another $2.3 million toward the set of traffic roundabouts that will replace intersections linking Highway 29 with First Street, Second Street and California Boulevard. Construction is expected to begin in early 2019.
A run-up in Napa land prices since the city and state partnered on the project in 2015 has added to its expense, as has to split the cost of moving utility lines owned by AT&T and Pacific Gas and Electric Co., according to city civil engineer John Ferons.
In other business, the council will receive an update on the recent overhaul in Napa’s service system for homeless people. The report comes just after the first anniversary of Abode Services’ 2017 of the program, and two days before daytime services are moved out of the downtown Hope Center and into the South Napa Shelter on Hartle Court to the south.