All About Sebastopol
Sebastopol is home to a diverse economy of innovation, industry and services. A unique blend of specialty shops, Main Street retail, restaurants and entertainment make up the downtown. Sebastopol sits in the hills that rise above the largest wetland area in Northern California, the Laguna de Santa Rosa. New trails and park areas provide opportunities to enjoy hiking, bicycling and picnicking, and a chance to appreciate the area's wildlife. The mild Mediterranean climate and ocean influences make the area perfect for agriculture and recreation.
The Sebastopol area enjoys a rich agricultural heritage with specialty farms providing fresh products to local markets and acclaimed restaurants. The new Joe Root Trail provides a scenic regional link to the Sebastopol downtown for bicyclists and hikers. Visitors can stay at the town's two new hotels. Sebastopol is 20 minutes from Bodega Bay and the beaches and cliffs of the Pacific coast. Sebastopol is the gateway to the Russian River recreation area and is near the heart of Sonoma County's premium wine producing regions.
Directions and Access
Sebastopol is located an hour north of San Francisco where state designated scenic highways Gravenstein Highway 116 and Luther Burbank Memorial Highway 12 cross. The town is 10 minutes from Highway 101, the main transportation corridor in the North Bay. Sebastopol is two hours west of the State Capitol of Sacramento, 10 minutes west of Santa Rosa and 20 minutes from Sonoma County's Charles Schulz Airport.
Sebastopol is the center of a sub-regional economy providing an inviting "Main Street" shopping alternative to the "big box" retail malls found along the Highway 101 corridor. The city has been working to improve the pedestrian experience in the downtown with its Street Smart Sebastopol program. Despite the recent downturn in the economy, many of Sebastopol's businesses have come through with renewed optimism.
In 2002, the City of Sebastopol and the Sebastopol Area Chamber of Commerce have partnered to create an Economic Development Program. The program's goal is to diversify the types of businesses in the area and encourage sustainable economic development. The Economic Development office at the Sebastopol Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Center is located at 265 South Main Street in the heart of town.
Individuals and companies can get counseling from the program's Economic Development Specialist on business plans, finance, taxes, location analysis, and access information on local permit regulations, zoning, and property. Businesses can get economic and location specific information to help guide their decisions.
The greater the diversity of business types in Sebastopol, the better chance a downturn in a one sector won't bring down the local economy. According to the Economic Development Specialist, the biggest challenge is attracting and retaining enough diversity in Sebastopol to continue being recession resistant. For example, in 2000-01 when the telecommunications industry became over capacitated, diversity in the region helped sustain the local economy.
An important sector in the local economy is the medical sector. Community support for Palm Drive Hospital has been tremendous in the recent past .The West County successfully banded together when faced with the closure of the West County’s only hospital in a remarkable grass-roots effort to buy and operate Palm Drive Hospital. The hospital since then has attracted several new doctors, expanded services, and has opened a new MRI facility.
Recent closure of a key medical insurance provider and the refusal of Blue Cross to reimburse for services provided at the rates they do in other areas have presented new challenges for the district. The remarkable community efforts to establish a hospital district and purchase the hospital attest to its import to the residents of the West County and Sebastopol. It is expected that this will remain so in the future as well.
Arts, Community and Natural Heritage
Sebastopol Center for the Arts has expanded into a new downtown location with a gallery, performance and literary arts programs and classes. Sebastopol hosts popular local and regional events each year. In April, the Apple Blossom Festival welcomes the spring promise of the harvest. The fall Gravenstein Apple Fair showcases the area's agricultural products. The Celtic Festival, Shakespeare in Ives Park, and the Cajun Festival are a few of the other great events that entertain locals and draw attendance from throughout the region to Sebastopol.
The Sebastopol Community Center is in the early stages of planning for a new building to host their classes, events and concerts. The Laguna de Santa Rosa Wetlands Preserve features a new park with interpretive trails, community recreation facilities and ball fields. The park is part of efforts to restore the largest wetlands area in northern California. The Laguna is a major stop and nesting area for birds migrating along the Pacific flyway. The City of Sebastopol is planning expansion of the Laguna de Santa Rosa Wetlands Preserve Park to include new trail areas soon.
Business Location and Visibility
Retail Office and Medical Office Industrial and Warehouse
- Regional highway access to the Sebastopol downtown comes from the Highway 101 corridor via designated scenic State Highways 12 and 116.
- More than 50,000 residents in West Sonoma County use Sebastopol as their center of commerce for shopping, entertainment, and business.
- 5.9 million tourism visitors to Sonoma County in 2000. Tourism investment is rebounding after a lull after 9/11/01.
- Sebastopol's downtown is located at the main cross roads to Bodega Bay, the Sonoma Coast and the Russian River wine and recreation region. A mix of retail shops and professional offices line Sebastopol’s downtown area. Clothing, furniture, restaurants and
- The Downtown Plaza invites visitors with live music, a farmer’s market, and sculpture by local artists, fountain, shops and cafes.
Sebastopol offers the visibility of Main Street shopping. Premium locations exist around the Sebastopol Town Plaza, along Main Street, Healdsburg Avenue and the Gravenstein Highway corridor through town. There are shopping centers that offer locations convenient to complimentary goods and services, grocery stores and restaurants. New retail, mixed used, and live work buildings have recently increased the opportunities for new or expanded retail activity.
Office and Medical Office
Multiple high quality office locations are available in Sebastopol. Locations include the following main areas:
Palm Drive Hospital District on Petaluma Avenue medical, ophthalmology, and dental office facilities. Palm Drive is a full service hospital and trauma center that is the main medical facility for the west county. Numerous flexible medical office buildings, laboratories, surgery centers, assisted care facilities and physical therapy facilities are located adjacent to the hospital. The area also has many alternative health practitioners offering chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, and healing centers.
The western gateway at Morris Street and Highway 12 offering flexible premium class A and B office space is available with T-1 cable. The location is adjacent to industrial and manufacturing facilities offering the opportunity to locate executive offices adjacent to research and development and manufacturing facilities. Location is 5 minute walk to downtown hotel, restaurants and shops, parks, trails, health club and spas.
Northern gateway on Gravenstein Highway North offers flexible premium class A and B office space is available with T-1 cable. The location is adjacent to restaurants and retail shopping centers.
South Main Street, Petaluma Avenue and Healdsburg Avenue provide many unique and charming older homes that have been converted for office or mixed uses. Some locations may provide an opportunity for bed and breakfast use as well.
Bodega Avenue has office and medical office buildings with opportunities to locate adjacent to residential areas and schools close to the Sebastopol downtown.
Industrial and Warehouse
Areas designated for industrial and manufacturing uses are located in three main areas. Morris Street provides direct access to Highway 12. Currently there are facilities for value added agricultural processing and storage, materials fabrication, asphalt and cement, construction and research and development. Premium class A and B office space is available with many buildings wired with T-1 cable. Location is 5 minute walk to downtown restaurant and shops, parks, trails and health club.
Gravenstein Highway South provides manufacturing and warehouse space on Highway 116 south of the Sebastopol city limits in tow locations. Current uses include value added agricultural processing, materials fabrication, food processing, Research and development and equipment rentals.
Gravenstein Highway North is located at the intersection of Highway 116 North and Occidental road north of the city limits. The site is located in an area primarily zoned for agriculture and has facilities for agricultural processing.
In the 1990 âs several key new businesses opened in downtown Sebastopol, including a multi-screen theater and two hotels. The community also celebrated the opening of the Laguna de Santa Rosa Wetlands Preserve, the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, and the new Downtown Plaza with its performance stage, water fountain, and art in public places.
The O'Reilly publishing company opened the first phase of its new 168,500 sq. ft. office park development in 2001 at the north Gravenstein Highway gateway to Sebastopol.
Woodstone Corners a live-work development opened next to the Holiday Inn on Gravenstein Highway South and Cooper Road.
A new two-story mixed use retail and office space has been constructed at 200 South Main Street in the downtown. The building has immediately become a prime downtown location and is home to a charter school.
A new mixed-use live work building will be opening in fall 2002 on Gravenstein Highway South at Lynch Road adjacent to the Holiday Inn Express.
Opportunities for further development remain in key areas of Sebastopol. The city has placed a priority on providing a diverse economic base and providing a range of housing types in Sebastopol.
City Limits Sonoma County California
Market Area 50,000+ 471,500 35,037,000
Median Household income $63,400 $63,400 $47,493
Median Home Value $467,500 $389,750 $323,700
Educational Attainment bachelor degree or higher 35.5% 28.5% 26.6%
3rd Quarter 2001 $36,110
(in thousands) $1,730,867
(in thousands) $109,283,013
Labor Force 11/2002 4,710 270,900 17,615,000
Unemployment 11/2002 4.7% 4.1% 6.4%
Sources: State of California EDD and BOE, Census 2000. Press Democrat Databank
Local Education Programs
Santa Rosa Junior College provides a wide range of educational opportunities including; computer programming, nursing, agriculture, mathematics and engineering. 707-527-4011
Empire College provides business, medical, technology, and legal training.707-546-4000
Sonoma State University offers undergraduate and graduate study programs in social studies, business and economics, biology, and computer engineering. 707-664-2880
Gravenstein Hwy South (State Highway 116) at State Highway 12 (Sebastopol Road) 28,000/day
Healdsburg Ave. at Main Street 24,000/day
State Highway 12 at Main Street 23,900/day
Source: Walt Laabs Engineering/ CalTrans
O'Reilly and Associates, Pacifica Market, Whole Foods, Safeway, Rite Aid, Longs Drugs, Copperfield's Books, Mary's Pizza Shack, Round Table Pizza, Taco Bell, McDonalds, Starbucks Coffee and Kragen Auto Parts.
This page is provided for businesses or individuals looking to locate or expand their company or facilities in one of the most desirable places in California.