Napa Valley projects target small wineries

AMERICAN CANYON ? Vintners who bottle hundreds or a few thousand cases a year and want total control over how their wines are made may find what they?re looking for in two industrial condominium projects planned for southern Napa Valley next year.

These projects ? Napa Gateway Commerce Center in south Napa and ?wine condos? slated as part of the planned Lombard Crossings development in American Canyon ? are part of a trend toward small wineries starting up in industrial parks because of increasing difficulties and expenses in creating a rural venue.

At the corner of Gateway Road and Technology Way in Napa Valley Gateway Business Park in south Napa, developers of Napa Gateway Commerce Center plan to build two 20,640-square-foot buildings on 3.1 acres.

The complex is designed to provide units as small as 2,844 square feet for wine warehousing or production, according to Chris Neeb, a Cushman & Wakefield agent who is marketing the property.

?All the deals in play are wine-related,? he said, noting that two companies have signed letters of intent to buy a total of 12,000 square feet for casegood storage. ?There is still a decent amount of demand in the market for that kind of space.?

The project has building permits and is expected to be under construction this fall and completed next summer.

Project owners Cory and Kristen Phillips purchased the fully entitled project this past summer from Lake Street Ventures, the developer of the large Napa Junction hospitality, retail and multifamily housing project now in its third phase in American Canyon.

The Phillips started Phillips Tile in Napa in 1992 and expanded it to Fairfield a few years ago before selling the company to private-equity investor Goense Bounds & Partners of Lake Forest, Ill., in February 2006. The couple moved out of the area but wanted a Napa Valley real estate investment, according to Mr. Neeb.

Napa Gateway Commerce Center was designed by Mountain View architecture firm Dennis Kobza & Associates, who also designed the Vitro Packaging warehouse in American Canyon. The new project, located at 769 and 799 Technology Way, is configured to have 18 to 21 feet of warehouse clear height as well as dock and grade-level truck doors.

With an ample parking ratio of three spaces per 1,000 rentable square feet, the project is designed to allow easy truck staging, according to Mr. Neeb.

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