In a recent blog, “Finally a Future for the Copia Cultural Food and Wine Center,” I shared the good news from the Copia Center’s new owner, Triad Development of Seattle, and the company’s plans for redevelopment. According to a story in the Napa Valley Register, “Culinary Institute offers new life to vacant Copia building,” the property in downtown Napa will soon be reborn as the “Culinary Institute of America at Copia.”
The center will be ancillary to culinary arts with plans including:
- Improve the amphitheater to use as an auditorium again. The theater will also show movies and be used for other public access.
- Adding a large teaching kitchen.
- The outdoor amphitheater will be terraced to allow for better use of chairs. Concerts, special events and weddings can also take place in that arena.
- Reopen Julia’s Kitchen (maybe under another name) and add a lunch restaurant.
- A significant collection of cookware and utensils that has been donated to the CIA will be on display in what used to be the temporary exhibit space on the second floor.
- Changing a south-side parking lot into the home of a mixed-use development offering housing, shopping and parking.
- Installing a Vintners Hall of Fame in the atrium space of the first floor.
- Adding classrooms, a shop and tasting bar plus offices for its new Food Business School and a media studio.
- Keep the shrunken gardens intact.
“We’re going to bring the building back to life,” said Mark Erickson, Culinary Institute of America (CIA) provost. “Our hope is to create an opportunity for people to come to Napa Valley, it will become known as the place you should start your visit.”
Erickson said the CIA has simply outgrown its space in St. Helena. The Greystone campus will remain open, but “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to bring our message to a large audience.”
The biggest loss in the plans is the dislocation of our Farmers’ Market, which has become extremely popular among locals and visitors alike. There are rumors that the market could return to the north parking lot and depend on underground parking. In any event, the city still has to approve the plans but everyone is optimistic about the outcome.
If the awesome future for the Copia Cultural Food and Wine Center has inspired you to consider moving here, contact me at 707-738-4820, email [email protected] or keep abreast of listings of private estates, wineries or vineyards in Napa Valley or Sonoma via my website. Just as an FYI, I have access to some extraordinary wineries, vineyards, estates and homes in Napa, Yountville, Saint Helena and Calistoga that are not on the open market, as well as a deep knowledge of some exceptional overlooked on-market offerings. The off market inventory is extraordinary right now and each and every property has spectacular views.