Novato is the northern most city in Marin County, about 30 miles north of San Francisco. In terms of home prices, it is generally the most affordable city in Marin County. Major geographical features nearby include Mount Burdell and Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve to the north and Big Rock Ridge to the southwest. Novato includes ten Marin County Open Space District preserves. The city is home to the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, and several biotech firms, such as Biosearch Technologies and BioMarin Pharmaceutical. Several small technology companies are also based in Novato, such as 2K Marin, Radiant Logic, Toys For Bob, One Legal, International Genetics Incorporated, Channel Management Solutions, Enwisen, Sonic Solutions and DriveSavers. It is also home of a development studio for Take Two Interactive, parent company of Rockstar Games. The former Hamilton Air Force Base is also located in Novato, but was decommissioned in 1974 and designated a Historic District in 1998. After lying stagnant for many years, major renovations were pushed through by then-mayor Michael DiGiorgio. 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. Maintaining a charming downtown, Novato is a nice place to call home.
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