Walnut Creek, CA Economic Overview
Walnut Creek is located in the San Francisco East Bay area, near Oakland. With a highly educated population of over 70,000 people, the city is able to attract exceptional residents and businesses can recruit and retain outstanding talent. The transit richness is a boon to the commercial real estate market in Walnut Creek, with interstates, BART mass transit, and bus service all offering easy access from the San Francisco Bay area.
Median household income in Walnut Creek is over $82,000 per year, which is higher than the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metropolitan statistical area average. Businesses in Walnut Creek receive a competitive edge by not paying payroll taxes, as well as benefitting from commercial rents that are lower than in San Francisco. In a recent survey of the best small cities to start a business, Walnut Creek came in at #17 out of 463 contender-cities.
Walnut Creek's access to East San Francisco Bay residents, plus its ability to attract and keep a talented labor force are key reasons for its economic success. People love living here, and business loves hiring here. Over 96% rated the quality of life in Walnut Creek as excellent or good, 93% rated their neighborhood as a great place to live, and 97% rated Walnut Creek as a excellent place to live.
Often described as the 'Jewel of the East Bay', retail, restaurant and entertainment add just as much to the economy of Walnut Creek as do the diverse mix of major employers and small business.
Walnut Creek, CA Commercial Real Estate Market
While the demand for industrial space in Walnut Creek is stable, the office market in Walnut Creek, particularly along the North I-680 corridor, is being driven by the record-high rents in San Francisco and Oakland, which is driving demand for not only Class A office space in Walnut Creek but Class B and C properties as well.
Walnut Creek has a long-standing reputation as a premier regional business center in the East Bay area, with three key show-case office, industrial and mixed-use complexes:
The Walnut Creek BART Transit Hub offers 1.9 million square feet of office space, adjacent to BART (Bay Area Regional Transit System), close to the freeway on-off ramp, and an easy walk to the free Downtown Walnut Creek trolley system.
Downtown Walnut Creek is a destination location in and of itself. With 2.5 million square feet of shopping, dining and entertainment space, and 2.7 million square feet of Class A office space, plus a walkability score of 85 (the same as San Francisco and New York City), the area is a magnet for national and regional retailers such as Apple, Nordstrom, and Crate and Barrel, along with countless small store fronts and trendy restaurants.
Shadelands Business Park accommodates a wide mix of professional, scientific, technical, health care and manufacturing companies, with its 2.7 million square feet of office and light industrial space. The 246-acre business park has a high parking ratio, walking trails, and employees have on-site access to day care, shopping and medical appointments.
Walnut Creek, CA Office Rental Rates ($/SF/year)
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF.
Walnut Creek, CA Office Sales
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Walnut Creek, CA Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 7,514,808 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 2,225,671 SF / 29.62% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 5,289,137 SF / 70.38% of total office
- Class A: 1,104,314 SF / 14.7% of total office
- Class B: 6,117,370 SF / 81.4% of total office
- Class C: 293,124 SF / 3.9% of total office
Total: 169,260 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 169,260 SF / 100% of total industrial
- Class B: 169,260 SF / 100% of total industrial
Office Spaces with Retail
Total: 2,204,855 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 187,296 SF / 8.49% of total office with retail
- 100k to 500k SF: 1,374,374 SF / 62.33% of total office with retail
- 500k to 1M SF: 643,185 SF / 29.17% of total office with retail
Employment in Walnut Creek, CA
Companies based in Walnut Creek include Kaiser Permanente, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, John Muir Health, Del Monte, Verizon Wireless, Carollo Engineers, Central Garden & Pet, AvoDerm, Amdro, American Reprographics, CSE Insurance, and the PMI Group.
Key employment sectors in Walnut Creek are: educational services and healthcare; professional, scientific and technical services; management and administration; waste management; and finance, insurance and real estate. The top five employers in Walnut Creek are
- John Muir Health with 4,600 employees;
- Kaiser Permanente with 2,300; Safeway with 1,275 workers;
- Nordstrom with 570;
- IHC with 500 people.
Education in Walnut Creek, CA
There are five school districts that service Walnut Creek, including the Mount Diablo Unified School District, the Acalanes Union High School District and the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. The city has numerous private K-12 schools as well, including Berean Christian High School, Garden Gate Montessori School, Palmer School and Walnut Creek Christian Academy.
Walnut Creek has the most educated population in Contra Costa County, with 61% of the resident adults having a bachelor's degree or higher. Universities and colleges closest to Walnut Creek include Brandman University, Phlebotomy Plus medical school, and More University. Students in Walnut Creek also have direct access to the almost countless colleges and universities in the San Francisco Bay area, including the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, City College of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Art Institute.
Commuting Time in Walnut Creek, CA
Commute times in Walnut Creek vary substantially, with Easy Bay commutes among the 10 worst in the entire San Francisco Bay Area. On average, commuters here spend close to 30 minutes in their cars, while nearly 4% of the workforce has a super commute of 90 minutes of more.
When it comes to variety of transportation, Walnut Creek has a rare distinction as being a transit-rich community:
- Walnut Creek is located at the intersection of the Sacramento/San Jose I-680 and the San Francisco/Oakland SR-24 corridor.
- BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) serves both the Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill stations, providing a short 30 minute ride to the Financial District in San Francisco.
- Free bus rides connect the 246-acre Shadelands Business Park to both BART stations.
- There are miles of bike lanes and the city has a walkability score of 85, the same as New York City and San Francisco.
- Walnut Creek is served by the Oakland International Airport which is among the 40 busiest airports in the country.
Walnut Creek Demographics
- Total Population69,567
- Male Population(46.3 %) 32,210
- Female Population(53.7 %) 37,357
- Median Age47.80
- Average Household Income$141,468
- Median Household Income$105,948
- Median Income Under 25$72,530
- Median Income 25-44$129,338
- Median Income 45-64$160,765
- Median Income Over 65$70,230
Invesco Sells Walnut Creek Office Campus
March 16, 2018
Growers Square, a three-building office project in Walnut Creek, Calif., is under new ownership. Investment management company Invesco, represented by NKF Capital Markets, sold the property to Rockwood. “Walnut Creek has experienced a renaissance that has brought high-end restaurants, shopping...