Built in 1887, the Borreo Building is either the oldest or the second oldest commercial building in Napa: "There is a debate over the relative ages of the Borreo and the former laundry on Clinton St. that is now the Vintners Collective," wrote .
The landmark building, made of native stone quarried from the Soda Canyon area, represents "a melting pot of Napa’s mercantile history," Bors wrote: Its 9,000 square feet have housed a grocery and feed store, a shirt factory, a winery, an automobile agency and a drayage warehouse and even a second-story "dance hall and social center known as 'Egyptian Hall.'"
Owned by the city since 1966, designated a historical landmark in 1977 and retrofitted for seismic safety in 2006, the Borreo — now a handsome shell of a building — is up for sale.
Among the possible buyers who have shown interest so far are a motorcycle designer with a TV show, local scuptor Gordon Huether and the , whose CEO told the city council his group had enough money to buy the building outright and use part of it for offices while renting the rest and potentially making a room available for community use.
Local arts advocates have longed for a community arts center on the site, which has limited parking and no windows on the river side.
According to a December, 2011 report in the , the Borreo is valued at $400,000 as is, but if developers were guaranteed the right to add windows and offsite parking, it could be worth $1 million.
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