The Beautification of Napa’s First Street

Much development activity in the past 7 years in Napa’s First Street is due to this man, Todd Zapolski.

Because of him, Napa’s First Street has undergone a dramatic $200 million transformation that now looks like an upscale lodging, dining and commerce, a far cry from the sad, aging, largely vacant shopping center it once was.

According to North Bay Business Journal, Todd Zapolski has to become a significant force in North Bay real estate in the past two decades. He brought in Trademark Property Company as a partner in the project and lined up Lodgeworks to oversee the 183-room Archer Hotel portion, which opened Nov. 27. The project also has 45 shops and 30,000 square feet of office space, most of which is occupied or spoken for.

But Zapolski wasn’t always a Real Estate Developer, his planned career path was originally Law. He had graduated from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, with an undergraduate degree in political science. “Political science is good for going on to law school, but what I didn’t realize was that it also makes sense for real estate,” Zapolski said. “Because much of the built environment involves understanding social and political issue, governance. It’s actually pretty good training for getting into the business.”
Zapolski grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, the youngest of three boys and the son of an industrial-designer father and a mother who wrote feature articles. They probably were the source of his early interest in aesthetics, he said.

“She would take me along when she would do interviews,” Zapolski said. “I met lots of folks and saw lots of things, and that probably made me realize you could create a hotel and redo things, get outside the box. There are a lot of options out there.”
“To this day, I have never worked for anyone a day in my life,” Zapolski said. “It gives you a real sense for the risk and that you have to make things work.” See Zapolski Real Estate for renders of Napa’s transformation..

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