Mill Valley Lumber Yard owners Jan and Matt Mathews repurposed this 1892 vintage industrial property, preserving its historic value while creating a rustic, two-story gathering place on nearly 1 acre. Visitors can browse a retail village with a bakery, restaurant, craft work studios and office suites clustered around a courtyard with picnic benches.
“When this property was for sale in 2012, most bids Mill Valley received from developers involved demolishing these iconic redwood structures in favor of building condominiums, but we imagined another use for this property,” said Jan Matthews. She oversees the redesign of buildings, while her husband, Matt, manages construction.
“We revitalized the lumber yard into something that would encourage community interaction and retain the history and character of its past,” she said. “A resident once said, ‘If these buildings were torn down, you might as well take the mill out of Mill Valley.’”
The couple’s company is a commercial and real estate business that buys and renovates historic buildings throughout the Bay Area.
With stunning views of Mount Tam and a creek running throughout, this 126-year-old renovated property includes multiple fire pits, hidden gardens and a corn hole toss. The site has 10 renovated buildings converted to 14 retail spaces ranging in size from 450 to 3,500 square feet.
Tenants include Ambitalia, Bloomingayles, Flour Craft Bakery, Makers Market, Farmhouseurban, BOL, The Edit, Aviator Nation, the Watershed Restaurant and others. The complex is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the bakery opens at 7:30 a.m.
CORRECTIONS: The Mathews family name was misspelled. Mill Valley Lumber Yard is open daily, rather than five days a week.
Mill Valley Lumber Yard
129 Miller Ave., Mill Valley
Start: May 2017
Completion: October 2018
Estimated cost: $1 million (repairs and renovation)
Financing: Privately funded
Owners: MV Heritage Properties LLC (Matt and Jan Mathews)
Contractor: U.S. Prime Contractor Inc., Powder Springs, Georgia; Pacific Engineering & Construction, Inc., San Francisco
Project design: Raker Architect, Tiburon
Green design consultation: Michael Heacock Architects, Mill Valley
Planning consultant: Rhoades Planning Group, Berkeley