The Project Team ∼ Local, Committed and Passionate Expertise

Jeff Jaeger (left) and Terrence McGrath

Bringing a local vision to life

The Watson Ranch Project is owned by a joint venture of local entrepreneurial families that have been part of the Napa Valley community for over half a century. The Jaeger family and McGrath Properties, headed by Terrence McGrath, formed the joint venture American Canyon I LLC to further this project idea, originally championed by Jaeger family patriarch Bill Jaeger in the 1990’s. The Jaeger siblings and Terry McGrath have known each other since their youth in St. Helena. They are all active in and committed to the Napa Valley community and to creating a valuable, vibrant and enduring new destination community here – for the benefit and enjoyment of residents and visitors alike, and for the future of the City of American Canyon. 

The Jaeger Family

Brothers Jeff and Jack are the key project team members for the Jaeger Family. The family has been very successful in grape growing and wine production, owning the famous Freemark Abbey and Rutherford Hill wineries for a time, as well as being pioneers in the local cooperage industry. The Jaegers increased their agricultural and land holdings over the years and in the 1980’s purchased the former Portland Cement and Basalt Rock Company site, along with Felton Watson’s 650-acre ranch. Go to to learn more.

McGrath Properties

Terrence McGrath, the key principal of McGrath properties, grew up in the Napa Valley as one of nine children. He founded McGrath Properties in 1996 — a real estate investment and development company focused on acquiring underutilized commercial properties. With a unique eye for transforming historic but blighted and underused properties, Terrence has a gift for reinventing old and forgotten buildings into viable, re-purposed assets. Since 1996, his company has acquired over 2 million square feet of commercial buildings and substantial undeveloped land holdings. His fundamental approach is to create significant value by repositioning properties through a long-term investment approach that is primarily funded by his own capital. Go to to learn more.

Additional Project Resources

The Watson Ranch Project Team collaborates and coordinates with related American Canyon staff and Council members as well as various third party consultants and agencies. This ensures that all aspects of the development appropriately address traffic, environmental, water and other resource concerns.


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