Make It In Napa


The City of Napa is home to makers, artists, creatives, artisanal and larger-scale manufacturers. It is a place where people create and make things from chocolate, wine, and craft spirits to art installations, fine art, metal-forged home décor, and animal care products. 

Through a new initiative called "Make It In Napa", the City of Napa is creating a supportive ecosystem for its Creative, Maker, and Manufacturing sectors.

See below to learn more about the "Make It In Napa" initiative, and to download the Creative Space and Local Manufacturing Action Plan for the city of Napa.  The results of the Space Needs Survey for Makers, Creatives, and Artists can also be downloaded and used to inform future artist live/work housing and non-residential creative space developments. 

If you would like to stay in touch about this Initiative or have questions, contact the City of Napa.

In 2019 the Bay Area Council Economic Institute delivered the “City of Napa Economic Development Action Strategy”. This study confirmed what the City of Napa sensed, there was a significant opportunity to leverage its existing assets and sustainably grow its creative and local manufacturing sectors. The result would be a stronger more diverse economy, complementing its notable tourism, agricultural and healthcare industries.

With strategy recommendations that included “creating spaces for innovation”, the City of Napa engaged nonprofits Artspace Projects and PlaceMade in 2019 to assess the potential for a jointly developed facility that would offer affordable manufacturing and production space, creative work and studio space and housing for the people who currently and would in the future create and make things in Napa. The study findings were encouraging and set the stage for the City’s next step, a “Creative Space and Local Manufacturing Action Plan”.

In 2020, the City secured an Economic Development Administration Grant and engaged PlaceMade and Artspace as its partners in the work ahead. The team, working closely with local stakeholders, completed and delivered a series of actionable steps on January 18, 2022. The City can use this Action Plan to foster the growth of new spaces, partnerships, policies and programs that support individuals in the creative and manufacturing sectors and their businesses and workforce.  

The City of NapaThe City of Napa is the hub of economic activity for Napa County, one of the most desirable places to live in the Bay Area and the center of one of the most-visited hospitality destinations in the United States. To spur economic growth and improve the quality of life for our residents, The City of Napa’s Economic Development Division is building on Napa’s exciting fortes as a successful tourism center, a hub of retail, healthcare, and production-oriented industries. We are thrilled to be working with two leading developers and consultants to advance our artist, maker, and manufacturing community.

PlaceMade: The Bay Area's leading non-profit real estate consultancy and developer for affordable and functional industrial space. PlaceMade, together with its parent non-profit organization SFMade, Inc, brings more than a decade of experience helping manufacturers start, stay, and grow in the Bay Area. Together, PlaceMade and SFMade advance shared prosperity in cities across the region by helping them build thriving local manufacturing ecosystems that sustain living-wage jobs for diverse local residents.

Artspace: A national nonprofit developer and consultant with a mission to "Creative, Foster and Preserve Affordable and Sustainable space for Artists and Arts Organizations". It uses the tools of real estate development to create self-sustaining, long-term affordable living and working spaces for the individuals, businesses and organizations that make up a region’s creative sector. Artspace Consulting has advised over 300 communities on their space developments.  Artspace Projects Inc. has supported artist-led community transformation, representing a nearly $750 million investment in America’s creative-sector infrastructure.


Napa City Makes Advisory Team: City staff and a volunteer group of community stakeholders lending their time and expertise to the effort. 

Jerry Curiel, Vice President at Morenita Foods

Chris DeNatale, Executive Director, Napa Valley Arts Council

Olivia Dodd, Entertainment and Arts Consultant; former Executive Director of Napa Valley Arts Council

Suzy Ekman, Founder & CEO Makers Market

John Hannaford, Artist/Musician; Chair City of Napa Public Art Steering Committee

Gordon Heuther, Artist; City of Napa Planning Commissioner

Michael Holcomb, Owner, Holcomb Brokers

Bill Kampton, Senior Vice President, Colliers International

Preston O'Connell; Harvest Properties, Inc., Real Estate Developer

Wayne O'Connell, President O'Connell Family Wine

Vin Smith, City of Napa Community Development Director

Bruce Wilson, Executive Director, Workforce Alliance of the North Bay

The work to complete the Action Plan took place between March and October, 2021. Significant community input was received through a series of focus groups, one-on-one conversations, and a survey of individual creatives and makers. The Action Plan was presented to Napa's City Council on January 18th, 2022.

The Action Plan offers the City and local partners steps they can take to make Napa a place where makers, creatives, businesses, manufacturers, and their workers can thrive.

The ecosystems that must support these industries and that are the focus of this work include: 

  • Napa's brand/reputation

  • Real estate opportunities

  • Capital/Financial resources

  • Business support programs

  • Workforce housing, training/education 

  • Government infrastructure

  • Transit/Access & regional connections

  • Local supply chains

The team considered the working and professional/business growth opportunity needs of Artists/Creatives, Makers, and Manufacturers. For purposes of this study these groups are defined as follows:

Individual Artists/Creatives: includes fine and applied artists who may work alone from a home studio creating unique works of art or products, or who may have up to five employees and sell direct to consumer or small markets. The disciplines in which they work will vary widely. The space needs survey will be available to all individual artists/creatives/makers regardless of creative discipline or professional status. 

Maker: An "artisan manufacturer" with 2-10 employees working in studios or small industrial spaces with sales that extend beyond direct markets to include retail. Business budgets range between $500k-$5M. Makers who are run by artists/creatives and artists/creatives who are employees of makers will be encouraged to participate in the space needs survey.

Manufacturer: These businesses additionally sell wholesale. There are small ($5M-$25M budgets/10-100 employees) and large ($25M + budgets/100+ employees) manufacturers. Each requires industrial space for the creation of their products.


Below is the "Make To Manufacture" continuum used in this study:


Make to Manufacture Artists

Make To Manufacture 2


The City of Napa is overseeing the implementation of the Creative Space and Local Manufacturing Action Plan. To receive updates or to get involved send an email to the City of Napa.

Download the Action Plan and Market Survey Report of Findings found at the bottom of this webpage.

Spread the word and and share this Make It In Napa page with your colleagues and cohorts.

PlaceMade, City of Napa, Artspace Consulting Logos