Novato is the fastest growing city in Marin County. More new houses were built and sold in Novato during 2006 than any other city in Marin. The former Hamilton Air Force Base is also located in Novato, but was decommissioned in 1974 and designated a Historic District in 1998. As of 2008 the base has largely been redeveloped into single family homes. The former hangar buildings were gutted and redeveloped into two story office buildings. Hangar tenants include ImageMovers Digital, Sony Imageworks, Visual Concepts Entertainment, Smith & Hawken, The Republic of Tea, and Birkenstock Distribution USA. The city is home to the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, and several small biotech firms, such as Buck Institute for Age Research, Biosearch Technologies and BioMarin Pharmaceutical. Several small technology companies are also based in Novato, such as 2K Marin, Radiant Logic, Imagemovers Digital, and Sonic Solutions.
Novato has more to offer than commercial development. During the summertime Tuesday evenings at the Farmers Market bring live entertainment, crafts, and carriage rides. The Novato Parks and Recreation Department offers year round activities for kids of all ages. There’s also easy access to hiking, biking, boating, horseback riding, and fishing. Novato has something to offer for everyone.