case study:

napa pipe redevelopment project

Owners of the 154-acre former Napa Pipe plant along the Napa River were seeking to redevelop the property into much-needed housing and commercial space. With resistance to the project evident, Balzac helped the county and developers bring the community to the table.


Napa Pipe is a 154-acre former industrial site located along the Napa River south of Kennedy Park. The site has a long industrial history. In the 1930s and 1940s, Basalt Rock Co. built steel barges there for sand and gravel quarrying and, during World War II, minelayers and salvage ships for the U.S. Navy. Kaiser Steel in the 1950s and 1960s built everything from oil platforms to bridge foundations. Oregon Steel Mill closed the site’s industrial history by fabricating pipe there from 1987 to 2004. Napa Redevelopment Partners bought the site in 2005 with plans to build a new community with up to 945 homes, businesses and parks. Anytime a project of this magnitude is conceived, the need for free information flow is paramount. Napa Redevelopment Partners needed our help to reach concerned publics.


In 2009, the Napa County Department of Conservation, Development and Planning completed a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) analyzing potential impacts of the Napa Pipe development proposal and sought public and agency comments during a 60-day public review period starting in October of that year. It was our job to publicize the EIR review period, as well as seek direct feedback from concerned citizens. We organized a half dozen public comment sessions and informational seminars in addition to working with local newspapers to communicate the details.


After a decade of public hearings, the community finally agreed on a vision for a redeveloped Napa Pipe, one that included Costco. A milestone came in 2017 when bulldozers began turning over dirt at the property for soil remediation. Diesel, hydraulic oils, solvents and motor oils that contaminated an estimated 122,000 cubic yard of soil had to be cleaned up. The developers have succeeded in their long effort to win project approvals. Costco is to be built first in 2021, with housing to follow in about two years. If all goes as planned, they will then find out if their New Urbanism vision for a recycled Napa Pipe site strikes a chord with those seeking to buy Napa homes.


  • Napa Valley Register

    More time to study Napa Pipe

  • Napa Valley Register

    County planners bless Napa Pipe project

  • Napa Valley Register

    Developer Rogal sees ‘New Urbanism’ at Napa Pipe

  • Napa Valley Register

    As a prelude to a Costco, Napa Pipe site work to begin next year