Issue No. 25 | September 2021
You can’t tell from the street, but the sidewalks of our project sit atop a state-of-the-art innovation designed to facilitate tree growth, minimize storm runoff, and recharge the water table in a way that allows for greater conservation of resources.
Autumn is upon us, which means the Healdsburg community is heralding the arrival of harvest, the most exciting time of year. While vineyard teams pick and crush grapes into wine, elsewhere around town entrepreneurs, artists and winemakers are celebrating different events and milestones.
It could be said that no single Healdsburg resident has had more of a say in how our city looks than local architect Alan B. Cohen. The New Jersey native has been the architect for more than a dozen new buildings and renovations within four blocks of the Healdsburg Plaza.
Issue No. 24 | August 2021
At Mill District we’re big believers in the notion that great minds think alike. That’s why we’ve brokered a one-of-a-kind strategic partnership with Healdsburg restaurant SingleThread, the only three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Sonoma County.
At Mill District, a purposeful and long-term approach to sustainability is central to everything we do. In anticipation of drought conditions across California, Mill District has taken significant steps to address water conservation and be water wise.
Late summer is an exciting time to be in the northern Sonoma County. In the vineyards, grapes are gaining sweetness and color, ripening and plumping for harvest and eventual conversion into wine.
The Connaughtons’ journey to Healdsburg evolved over the course of two decades. They met in the early 1990s in the suburbs of Los Angeles—at a punk rock show—and ended up in the same high school shortly thereafter.
Issue No. 23 | July 2021
There’s no question that the first phase of residences at Mill District are going to be exquisite and stand alone as the premium homes in wine country. Now the 39 homes have a name: Canopy.
We here at Mill District always love a good party, and our groundbreaking event for our community housing July 19 was a great excuse to celebrate a cement foundation and throw some dirt in the air (literally).
Wine Country continues to emerge from the COVID lockdown, which means life in and around Healdsburg continues to inch closer to the “normal” we knew and loved before the spring of 2020.
As executive director of the Russian River and Russian River watershed, the 59-year-old McEnhill helms a team of conservationists protecting Healdsburg’s primary waterway at a time when climate change presents daily threats.
Issue No. 22 | June 2021
As Healdsburg continues to emerge from COVID-19 restrictions, Healdsburg Avenue outside the Mill District neighborhood is returning to normal as well—a sign that our work on the main artery through town is coming to an end.
Intimate. Friendly. Creative. World-class. Giving. Accessible. Inclusive. Progressive. Welcoming. We could list dozens of words and phrases to describe our Wine Country home of Healdsburg.
Summer is an exciting time around Northern Sonoma County, and with the State of California lifting all major COVID-19 restrictions June 15, there suddenly are multiple options to kick it off.
Few North County residents know more than Cindy Butner about what it means to live in Healdsburg. Butner has learned through osmosis; as the publisher of the monthly Healdsburg Living magazine.
Issue No. 21 | May 2021
If you’ve driven by the Mill District neighborhood in recent weeks, you’ve probably noticed that we’re underway with the infrastructure along Healdsburg Avenue. There are still cones redirecting traffic in front of Mill District, but the good news is that we expect the main thoroughfare through town to be all spruced up again soon.
As we put the finishing touches on the design of the first residences at Mill District, we’re very much focused on what life in one of our homes will feel like for our buyers. In short, our homes will live generously, inspiring varied and fulfilling days.
Late spring and early summer is when Northern Sonoma County comes to life—literally and figuratively. In the vineyards, grapes are growing. In our gardens, fruits, veggies, and other produce bloom.
In a sense, the new Artistic Director of the Healdsburg Jazz Festival has been inching back to Healdsburg for most of his adult life. Marcus Shelby, the bassist, acclaimed composer, and new head of Healdsburg Jazz, has played in our home city’s biggest musical event for the better part of the last decade.
Issue No. 20 | April 2021
To the untrained observer, it might not look like much is happening on our site, but lots is going on—the kind of work that serves as the literal and figurative infrastructure for all of the development still to come. According to Jim Hall, director of design and construction, crews currently are “setting the backbone” for the entire neighborhood.
Winter is over, the rains are behind us, and vines are budding out – all of which heralds the return of Mill District Velo. Consider Mill District Velo a cycling-specific focus on Healdsburg and Sonoma County and it is by no means exclusive but is for, by, and about passionate cyclists.
Late April and early May is an exciting time in the northern part of Sonoma County. As Healdsburg and neighboring towns continue to come out of stringent COVID-19 restrictions, there are more activities to do every week. Here’s a sneak peek at four happenings we’ve got on our list.
When Laura thinks about what she loves most about Sonoma County, she doesn’t think of it as Wine Country. She thinks of it as “Ride Country.” King has always associated Sonoma County with some of the best cycling in the world.
Issue No. 19 | March 2021
Work is underway on the Mill District neighborhood and already, big changes are evident. According to Jim Hall, our director of design and construction, to this point site developments fall into two major categories: Off-site improvements and on-site improvements.
What truly makes a neighborhood vibrant is diversity. At Mill District we have embraced this concept from the beginning, and the first building to rise from the ground will exemplify that commitment completely.
Spring has arrived in Wine Country, which means longer days, warmer nights, and bud-break in vineyards and gardens alike. As Healdsburg and towns in North County come out of stringent COVID-19 restrictions, it feels like the region is opening up with more things to do.
As the COVID-19 pandemic enters Year No. 2, health care is a critical issue in the Healdsburg community and beyond. Luckily for locals, Kim Bender has their backs. Bender is the new executive director of the Healthcare Foundation of Northern Sonoma County.
Issue No. 18 | February 2021
At Mill District, sustainability is central to everything we do. It drives us to be smart about the way we approach our project. It reminds us to take only what we must as we develop our corner of Wine Country. It encourages us to minimize our impact on the City of Healdsburg as a whole. Managing Director David Hill calls sustainability our “guiding light,” and that metaphor seems apt. All told, there are five components of our commitment to sustainability.
For a relatively rural town of roughly 12,000 people, Healdsburg certainly is embracing sustainability in a big way. The latest example of this commitment: A new floating array of solar panels.
So what if February is the shortest month of the year? This year, the month is chock full of fun and meaningful things to do—both in and around Healdsburg and in the county at large.
Meet executive director of the Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society. After 25 years working as a historian here, she has more of a commanding knowledge of the city’s past than just about anyone else.
Issue No. 17 | January 2021
After five years of planning and dreaming about developing our new neighborhood on the southeast side of the roundabout in downtown Healdsburg, we are thrilled to announce that Mill District is under construction.
Now that infrastructure is underway, it’s high time to get to know our general engineering contractor, Ghilotti Bros., Inc. The company has deep ties to the San Francisco Bay Area; among dozens of other major accomplishments.
Wintertime is the offseason in many parts of Wine Country, but not in Healdsburg. Even amid a global pandemic, our tiny town of 12,000 is jam-packed with things to do—a refreshing reminder that there’s always something happening around here.
While most Healdsburg locals have spent the 10 months of the Covid-19 pandemic sheltering in place, Jessica Martin has been working to make Healdsburg a more creative and inspiring place to shelter.
Issue No. 16 | December 2020
From the elation and excitement of launching our reservation program to the fear and frustration of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 was quite a year.
There are a lot of reasons we’re excited about our new renderings, but one at the top of the list is, quite simply, the art from Healdsburg-based artist, Alexander Harris and designer, SkLO.
In normal times, December is perhaps the most glorious month in Healdsburg. The global pandemic might have prompted temporary closures around town but there’s certainly still plenty of events and special promotions to explore.
In a way, Kim Carroll has been telling stories since he was 16. This native of Cork, Ireland, is still doing what he does best—and now he’s doing it for Mill District as we put the finishing touches on renderings for prospective owners.
Issue No. 15 | November 2020
Mill District’s reservation program achieved an important milestone last week as we released our much-anticipated Purchaser’s Guide with exclusive access for reservation holders. This document provides initial design details, new renderings, specifications, floorplans, and price ranges.
Sustainability is a huge part of our philosophy at Mill District. Our parent company, Replay Destinations, is rooted in mindful design work and community building, and makes conscious choices in every project they approach.
The end of the year is always a memorable time in Healdsburg, as holiday fever takes hold of the entire town. The city decorates the Plaza for Christmas. Oakville Grocery puts up a menorah for Hanukkah. Businesses paint windows with wintry scenes.
The forthcoming residence selection event is an exciting look at the future of Mill District. But that future wouldn’t be possible without the past, and nobody embodies the history of the site better than Willie Hollingsworth.
Issue No. 14 | October 2020
It’s an exciting time for prospective buyers at Mill District. In the next few weeks, those who have chosen to be involved in our ‘Invitation Only’ reservation program will receive the design and development details for the residences at Mill District.
Homes at Mill District will be one-of-a-kind, so it has been a top priority for us to create extraordinary renderings of the homes for prospective owners. We hired MOLT Studios out of Seattle to achieve this goal.
October is a special time in northern Sonoma County. Harvest is mostly over, the days are getting shorter, and the nights get colder. Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, wineries, restaurants, and local organizations are doing their best to create a festive Halloween season and make Healdsburg fun.
There are two kinds of engineers in the world around us: Those who painstakingly plan stuff and those who get their hands dirty and build it. Robert Morris is a little bit of both.
Issue No. 13 | September 2020
In late August, the Walbridge Fire unexpectedly spread to the south and west of Healdsburg. Now, Mill District is doing its part to help the community recover.
Mill District is welcoming autumn with a panoply of new programs, projects, and pronouncements.
Harvest is upon us again here in Sonoma County. Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, wineries and local organizations are buzzing with action. Everything just looks a little different.
Healdsburg resident and visual artist Candida von Braun perceives the world differently. We see animals; she sees strength and power. We see abstract shapes and colors, she sees the pursuit of lightness.
Issue No. 12 | August 2020
Mill District has two homes to celebrate this month—one online, and one at the site in downtown Healdsburg.
The first part of the Mill District project to come to fruition will be the southernmost component: A 41-unit neighborhood-within-a-neighborhood designed to provide affordable housing to the Healdsburg community and beyond.
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, Healdsburg is doing its best to adapt to the way we all have to live for the foreseeable future.
Like many current Healdsburg residents, Community Services Director Mark Themig visited once in the early part of the last decade, and knew he would end up living here.
Issue No. 11 | July 2020
We’re excited to announce that our new website will be launched in the coming weeks. Now that we are through the entitlement process and our first phase of residential design has been approved, we are freshening up the site with a new look and feel.
As part of Mill District’s ongoing effort to extend and amplify the Healdsburg lifestyle while the world continues to shelter-in-place, we recently welcomed the winemaker from an iconic local winery for a live wine tasting on our Instagram feed.
After more than 100 days of shutdown related to the global pandemic, businesses in Sonoma County continue to adapt to our new reality. Earlier this summer, some businesses were given the green light to reopen.
Considering how much time she spent around wineries as a child, it’s no wonder Jennifer Higgins went on to become a renowned winemaker with Lambert Bridge Winery here in Healdsburg.
Issue No. 10 | May 2020
If anybody understands how Mill District has evolved over time, it’s Eric Chan. Eric is the project’s director of development, and he has worked closely with our friends at Olson Kundig on the architecture and design of the project from the very beginning.
At a time when all of the friends of Mill District are being advised to shelter in place and lie low, we want to reach out and connect with you—to keep you in touch with the Healdsburg Community—right from your living rooms. We’re doing so by providing you a variety of invitation-only experiences we are calling ‘Healdsburg at Home’.
We’ve entered into Month No. 3 of the shutdown related to the global pandemic, and the Healdsburg government and local businesses continue to give back to the community. Here, in no particular order, are some of our neighbors doing things we admire.
One of Healdsburg’s most famous food-and-beverage all-stars has pivoted from a career in kitchens to a job coordinating the region’s primary food distribution network. The chef, Duskie Estes, took over in late April as the new executive director of Farm to Pantry.
Issue No. 9 | April 2020
David Hill is the managing director of Mill District, the guy in charge. That means he has perhaps the most comprehensive perspective on the project, its priorities, and the things that will need to happen to make the endeavor successful from here on out.
The best teams weather adversity together, coming through unexpected circumstances stronger and closer than ever before. This was true for Healdsburg and the entire Sonoma County community during the wildfires. It is true again now, during this current and unpredictable Coronavirus crisis.
LOCAL PARTNERS, DOING GOOD At a time when normal life in Wine Country has been turned upside down, it’s important to celebrate those partners and organizations that are working to make reality more palatable and helping those that need it most during this time. Here, in no particular order, are some of our neighbors doing … Continued
One of the most vibrant communities within the Healdsburg community comprises customers of Healdsburg Running Company, or HRC. The shop, which opened in 2014, is the brainchild of Skip Brand, who has almost single-handedly cultivated an active running community in and around the Healdsburg area.
Issue No. 8 | March 2020
Originally this month’s project update was going to celebrate a major milestone for us: unanimous approval on March 10th from the City of Healdsburg’s Planning Commission on the design of our first phase of residences. But the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the world and our focus has shifted.
In the cycling world, Miguel Crawford is considered the king of gravel—he has made a name for himself riding off-road. He’s also known as the grandfather of mixed-terrain cycling, a distinction he earned when he founded the Grasshopper Adventure Series 22 years ago.
Since events for March and April have been canceled to protect public health, this month we’re spotlighting local wineries that have launched virtual wine-tasting experiences. About a dozen wineries have moved tasting operations online. Here are a few that we love.
Healdsburg might be a small town, but Tallia Hart, the new CEO of the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce brings a big-time resume and point of view to her new role. She came to Healdsburg after a stint as the head of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.
Issue No. 7 | February 2020
Every week brings new developments here at Mill District—some you can see and appreciate as you walk by, others that are happening behind the scenes. The most noticeable improvements have occurred on the south portion of the site and around the area that will become our park.
Here’s a quick language lesson for you: In Czech, “Sklo” means glass. You pronounce it |sklo|; it rhymes with “glow.” The word is a fitting name for a global glass brand based in Healdsburg—especially since the product itself hails from craftspeople in the Czech Republic.
February might be the shortest month of the year (even in a Leap Year!) but the events calendar in Healdsburg doesn’t miss a beat. Here are some of the events we’ll be attending and promoting over the next few weeks and months.
From Jack London to Luther Burbank, the beauty of Sonoma County has inspired many over the years. It also inspired the design of Mill District’s residences. We recently caught up with Kirsten Murray, an owner and principal at Olson Kundig and the lead architect of our residential design.
Issue No. 6 | January 2020
Mill District is well on its way to establishing itself as a center of bicycle culture in Northern California that many of us call “Ride Country.” Now we’ve got a big-time cycling team, too.
Just after the start of the new decade, Mill District was the backdrop for another epic long-distance bicycle ride with former pro cyclist Ted King.
Reports of an off-season in Healdsburg have been greatly exaggerated. Yes, vineyards go dormant. And, yes, regular rains force visitors to spend more time inside.
Over the course of his career, Bob Cabral has had one basic philosophy: Do it right all the time, even if no-one is looking.
Issue No. 5 | December 2019
The year 2019 was a huge one for Mill District—our biggest yet. As we celebrate the milestones of the past 12 months, we look forward to the first quarter of 2020 and all we’ve yet to accomplish. To put it simply, we’re just getting started.
Healdsburg is getting ready to welcome its first coworking space, and our team was among the first to get a sense of what the place will be like when it opens. The space, CraftWork, is scheduled to open for business January 2, 2020.
Some say December and January represent the “off-season” here in Healdsburg. We beg to differ. Though vineyards — and, for the most part, wineries — are dormant, town is very much alive with community events, musical performances, and much more.
It’s fitting that Lake Sonoma is what inspired Skip Brand to fall in love with Wine Country. Today, the Silicon Valley refugee is owner of the Healdsburg Running Company and serves as race director of the Lake Sonoma 50, a world-renowned ultramarathon.
Issue No. 4 | November 2019
The big story out of the Mill District site this month: Hoarding. No, we’re not amassing piles of silver spoons and other knickknacks—in this case, “hoarding” is the technical term for the temporary fencing around the perimeter of the site.
Thanksgiving takes on special meaning this month as everyone in Healdsburg is full of gratitude for the firefighters and first responders who kept our town safe from the Kincade Fire at the end of October.
The end-of-year holidays are downright jovial here in Healdsburg. Local wineries get into the spirit by decking halls with holiday cheer. One of our favorite bakeries, Costeaux, breaks out its annual display of nutcrackers.
Most of Healdsburg’s social justice programs are run through Corazon Healdsburg, a community organization dedicated to helping those in need. This means that many of the most beloved efforts now fall under Marcy Flores.
Issue No. 3 | October 2019
Now that the Mill District site is mostly clear of buildings from its former life, we are looking forward to advancing the design of our public infrastructure and buildings with the City.
We all know “Wine Country” is where people come for a taste of world-class vino and Michelin-starred meals. “Ride Country,” however, that’s where people come for some of the best cycling in the world.
We’re just about halfway through harvest here in Sonoma County. The sweet smell of fermenting grapes lingers in the air. Days are warm with nice breezes, nights are crisp and often downright cold.
Technically speaking, Shelly Rafanelli-Felman actually is the second female winemaker in four generations on her family’s Dry Creek Valley farm.
Issue No. 2 | September 2019
Some might consider August to be the “dog days of summer,” but last month was a busy time for us at Mill District.
The month of August wasn’t only about construction; we made strides in marketing the project, too.
Harvest is well underway here in our part of the world, and it’s a magical time of year.
Meet the executive director of Reach for Home, a regional organization that aims to end homelessness in Sonoma County.
Issue No. 1 | August 2019
Dirt is flying these days at the Mill District site—an exhilarating development that officially has kicked off construction on the project.
There’s no better way to get to know Mill District than to connect with the architects, designers and visionaries behind the project.
Summertime is all about living in our corner of Sonoma County. Late sunsets give way to long evenings, making days seem to last forever.
Restaurateur Will Seppi understands the recipe for success. The Healdsburg native runs one of the most beloved eateries in town.