Santa Rosa, CA Economic Overview
Santa Rosa is located just 55 miles north of San Francisco, in Sonoma County. Positioned in the urban heart of wine country, an ideal place for exploring California’s best vineyards, Santa Rosa offers unique scenery, with a blend of country, ocean, and natural charm. Santa Rosa is the largest city in California’s Redwood Empire, Wine County, and North Bay and the fifth most populous in the San Francisco Bay Area, home to over 175,000 residents. Its vibrant downtown has something for everyone—three distinct shopping districts, five historic residential neighborhoods, arts and culture, events, great restaurants, famous chefs, wine tasting rooms, brew pubs, and a comfortable inviting atmosphere. Santa Rosa stretches over 41 square miles and is divided into four quadrants, with the U.S. Route 101 running North-South through the middle of the city, dividing the West and East sides. The Santa Rosa commercial real estate is largely distinguished by its advantageous location as the gateway to tourist destinations in the redwoods and on the coast, supported by its growing retail market, with 12 neighborhood shopping centers and 17 commercial districts.
The City of Santa Rosa serves as a retail, tourism, and commercial center for a five-county area that includes the Sonoma County, portions of the Napa Valley, and surrounding agricultural and timber communities. The city continues to experience steady economic growth, with most business activity sectors growing steadily, and sales tax revenues increasing. Many wineries and vineyards are nearby, as well as the Russian River resort area, the Sonoma Coast along the Pacific Ocean, Jack London State Historic Park, and the redwood trees of Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve. Santa Rosa is home to notable smaller businesses, such as Moonlight Brewing Company, Russian River Brewing Company, and ATIV Software. Its thriving retail sector includes three sizeable shopping malls, including Santa Rosa Plaza, with more than 100 merchants, Coddingtown Mall, with over 40, and Montgomery Village, an open-air mall with more than 70 shops. The top employers in the city are the County of Sonoma, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Medical Center, St. Joseph Health System, and Santa Rosa Junior College.
Santa Rosa, CA Commercial Real Estate Market
Set in the beautiful location of California’s wine country and in close proximity to San Francisco, Santa Rosa commercial spaces are comprised of office locations close to great transport connections, high commercial activity, and amenities. The downtown business core enjoys a truly breathtaking location, surrounded by ample green space, landscaping, and water features among tourist attractions. There are also plenty of indoor amenities to enjoy, from prestigious restaurants to cafes and even a golf club, which can be used for more informal business meetings and lunches. Most buildings are within easy reach of Highway 101, offering connection to the rest of Santa Rosa.
The Santa Rosa office market offers the most abundant office space in the area, at over 8.2 million square feet in total inventory, out of a total 12.8 million square feet in all of Sonoma County. Santa Rosa continues to maintain low vacancy rates of 7.5%, compared to the Sonoma County average of 9.7%, with 80,000 square feet currently under construction. The Santa Rosa submarket is currently experiencing a boost in rates. In the last 3 months, the median rate rose $2 per square foot per year—a 6% rise in rent. Compared to the rest of the Bay Area market, the Santa Rosa region has lower rates. The average size of office space in the area is around 2,050 square feet, with most buildings rising close to 2 stories.
Downtown Santa Rosa, including the central Old Courthouse Square and historic Railroad Square, is an area of shopping, restaurants, nightclubs, and theaters. The Downtown Santa Rosa office market includes spaces near City Hall for federal office operations, banks, and other professional services. The City Council funds a private booster group, Santa Rosa Main Street, which lobbies the city to revitalize the traditional business district. Railroad Square is a downtown portion of Santa Rosa on the west side of U.S. Route 101 and has the highest concentration of historic commercial buildings.
Santa Rosa, CA Office Rental Rates ($/SF/year)
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF.
Santa Rosa, CA Office Sales
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Santa Rosa, CA Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 4,414,965 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 2,728,646 SF / 61.8% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 1,028,462 SF / 23.29% of total office
- 500k to 1M SF: 657,857 SF / 14.9% of total office
- Class A: 299,300 SF / 6.78% of total office
- Class B: 3,978,847 SF / 90.12% of total office
Total: 5,090,815 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 1,964,123 SF / 38.58% of total industrial
- 100k to 500k SF: 3,126,692 SF / 61.42% of total industrial
- Class A: 2,029,150 SF / 39.86% of total industrial
- Class B: 2,789,981 SF / 54.8% of total industrial
Office Spaces with Retail
Total: 4,460,563 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 1,069,450 SF / 23.98% of total office with retail
- 100k to 500k SF: 2,854,377 SF / 63.99% of total office with retail
- 500k to 1M SF: 536,736 SF / 12.03% of total office with retail
Employment in Santa Rosa, CA
The City of Santa Rosa possesses a diverse workforce, and low unemployment rate of 3.0%, with the largest private employment sectors in Trade and Transportation, Professional and Business Services, Leisure and Hospitality, and Manufacturing.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industries in the Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA area with the highest employment numbers include:
- Trade, Transport, and Utilities—currently employs 36,700, growing at 0.5%/year
- Education and Health Services—currently employs 34,700, growing at 5.2%/year
- Government—currently employs 32,800, growing at 2.8%/year
Education in Santa Rosa, CA
Santa Rosa encompasses 42 public elementary, middle and high schools. Santa Rosa also has 50 private schools. Nine high schools are recognized on U.S. News & World Report's Best High Schools rankings.
Higher educational needs are served by three primary higher education institutions, including Empire College, Santa Rosa Junior College, and the University of San Francisco – Santa Rosa Campus.
Commuting Time in Santa Rosa, CA
The city sprawls along U.S. Route 101, about an hour north of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Charles M. Schulz - Sonoma County Airport located just north of Santa Rosa, is served by United, American, Alaska, Allegiant, and Sun Country airlines. Nonstop flights are available to San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Ana, Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. The nearby cities and towns of Bodega Bay, Calistoga, Guerneville, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Sebastopol, Sonoma, and Windsor are popular with tourists and readily accessible from Santa Rosa.
The City Council is also encouraging major new commercial and residential development along the planned Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) railway from Larkspur to Cloverdale, parallel to Highway 101. SMART, scheduled to open in 2017, is funded by a sales tax surcharge passed by Sonoma and Marin voters in 2008. Santa Rosa hosts two stations: Guerneville Road and Railroad Square.
Employees in Santa Rosa have a shorter average commute time of 21.2 minutes than the national average of 24.8 minutes. The largest share of workers in Santa Rosa drive alone to work, followed by those who carpooled and work at home.
Santa Rosa Demographics
- Total Population181,038
- Male Population(48.4 %) 87,677
- Female Population(51.6 %) 93,361
- Median Age38.30
- Average Household Income$91,292
- Median Household Income$71,347
- Median Income Under 25$35,670
- Median Income 25-44$76,201
- Median Income 45-64$83,373
- Median Income Over 65$55,780
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