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Copia, the Failed Napa, California Wine and Food Center Backed
by Robert Mondavi and Julia Child, Up for Sale


 

Alvarez & Marsal Retained to Oversee Formal Sale
Process for 17-acre Wine Country Destination

NAPA, Calif. - October 2, 2009 - The former site of Copia, the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts that was the brainchild of legendary vintner Robert Mondavi and renowned chef Julia Child, is seeking buyers with the opening of a formal sale process.

Alvarez & Marsal Real Estate Advisory Services, LLC has been retained by ACA Financial Guaranty Corporation to market and oversee the sale of the property, which closed in November, 2008 and subsequently filed for bankruptcy. Under the creditor-approved joint plan of liquidation, which is awaiting final approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of California, ACA, as insurer of Copia’s bonds, will have the ability to sell the property for the benefit of Copia’s bondholders.

“This property’s ideal location in the center of a world-renowned wine region, the quality and significance of its existing facilities and strong support from local government present an exciting opportunity for a new owner to develop a vibrant and valuable commercial and tourism destination,” said Jerry Pietroforte, a managing director with Alvarez & Marsal Real Estate Advisory Services, LLC. “Not surprisingly, initial interest in the property has already been significant, with a number of parties having made inquiries. We are pleased to now have a formal sale process underway.”

Located on the Napa River in the heart of Napa Valley, the property spans more than 17 acres with three contiguous parcels and will be sold or leased as a whole or as individual pieces. The centerpiece of the site is a two-story, 78,632 square foot building that previously housed the food and wine center, which opened in 2001 as a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and sharing the benefits of wine, its relationship to food and its importance to the American culture.

Featuring steel frame construction and finishes including stone, polished concrete, ceramic tile and large expanses of glass, the facility includes the former “Julia’s Kitchen” restaurant, administrative office space, 13,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 270-seat theater, a library, classrooms with audio-visual capabilities, a 127-seat demonstration kitchen forum, café and retail gift shop.

In addition to strong support from local government, the site stands to benefit from its proximity to Downtown Napa, which is currently undergoing an organized revitalization with several major projects underway and others recently completed. These include the development of a 351-room Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the Oxbow Public Market, a diverse shopping experience featuring one-of-a-kind items and artisanal and local foods and wines, as well as the new Westin Verasa Napa Hotel, which opened in October of 2008 with many of its units already pre-sold.

Designated as mixed use, the property is zoned “CT” Tourist Commercial and is considered part of the Oxbow District, which encourages hotels and motels and their related amenities and recreational facilities. In addition, the site was included in a new redevelopment area, the Soscol Gateway Redevelopment Project Area, in November 2007. Funds generated in this project area will be used primarily to fund major infrastructure improvements.

For more information or to receive a copy of the prospectus, please contact Jerry Pietroforte at 212-759-4433. Interested parties must submit proposals no later than 7:00pm EST on Thursday, November 12, 2009. Copies of proposals should be addressed to:

Mr. Jerry Pietroforte
Managing Director
Alvarez & Marsal Real Estate Advisory Services, LLC
125 Park Avenue, Suite 2500
New York, NY 10017
gpietroforte@alvarezandmarsal.com


About Alvarez & Marsal Real Estate Advisory Services
For more than 25 years, Alvarez & Marsal, a leading global professional services firm, has set the standard for working with organizations to solve complex business problems, boost performance and maximize value for stakeholders. Alvarez & Marsal Real Estate Advisory Services, LLC advises owners, investors, lenders, and users of real estate throughout the real estate lifecycle, providing services including workouts, restructures and real estate asset management.
For more information visit http://www.alvarezandmarsal.com
 

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Contact:

Jim Butler
Chairman, Global Hospitality Group
Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP
1900 Avenue of the Stars, 7th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067-4308
(310) 201-3526 direct
jbutler@jmbm.com
www.HotelLawBlog.com

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Also See: Intrawest Preparing The Westin Verasa for Opening; Napa's First Condo Hotel Will be the Fifth Westin Property Managed by Intrawest / June 2008
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