The owners of Wine & Roses hotel and spa plan an ambitious expansion to a historic estate on Woodbridge Road.
Under the plan, Wine & Roses owners would take over the Windcrest estate at 2101 E. Woodbridge Road and use it for events such as receptions, wine tastings and business meetings.
The expansion would mean several new full-time jobs and expanded hours for many of the resort's part-time employees, said Russ Munson, principal owner of Wine & Roses. The business now employs 220, about 55 full-time.
The expansion is being reviewed by county planners and is set for a hearing before the San Joaquin Planning Commission on Oct. 18.
The Windcrest estate was built in 1915. It includes a stately main house, a guest bungalow with pool, and well-manicured grounds shaded by massive palm and sycamore trees. A statue and reflecting pool sit near the entrance.
Munson offered a glimpse of the Windcrest estate and his vision for its various uses earlier this week.
He foresees turning the guest bungalow, which faces the swimming pool, into a day spa. An event/reception building is planned in an expansive lawn area on the west side of the main house, which has 3,849 square feet.
"I visualize this property reflecting the values and style we have at our current location," he said.
The expansion is needed because Wine & Roses can't keep up with demand for its space and services.
"Right now, we have to turn events away. We simply can't accommodate them," he said.
Munson does not foresee a wholesale renovation. The buildings have been well-maintained and tastefully upgraded — for instance, the main kitchen has new cabinets and granite surfaces.
The property is reached by a long driveway lined with olive trees. It sits amid large tracts of vineyards and includes 2.33 acres. Munson has purchased an option on the property, listed at $899,000.
Wine & Roses, at the northwest corner of Turner Road and Woodhaven Street, includes a hotel, restaurant, spa and extensive meeting and reception areas. It has grown steadily in recent years into an upscale regional destination.
The centerpiece of Wine & Roses is a large vintage home built by the Towne family in 1902, in a style similar to the one dominating the Windcrest estate.
Food service for the Windcrest expansion would largely be provided by the central kitchens at Wine & Roses, though cooking classes might be held at the Windcrest location. A small number of guest rooms would be available.
County planners have issued a negative declaration under the California Environmental Quality Act, meaning they do not see any major environmental issues with the proposal, said John Funderburg, principal planner for San Joaquin County.
The expansion is being handled as a spa/resort use application, one of the few proposed in the county in recent years, Funderburg said. The property is not in the Williamson Act, aimed at preserving agricultural land. Funderburg said he not aware of any letters expressing concern about the proposal.
Area wineries have been criticized in recent months for staging events that create noise and attract excessive traffic. However, as a spa/resort use, the Windcrest proposal does not fall under the planning umbrella of wineries and would not be limited by winery-related event restrictions.
Munson said the Windcrest location is largely buffered from neighbors. Amplified music would be limited to the enclosed event center.
If all goes well, Munson said he hopes the expansion will be complete and the first events can be held in spring 2013.
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