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City Profile


Known as the “Gateway to the Peninsula”, Daly City is located at the northernmost edge of San Mateo County adjacent to San Francisco and extends from the Pacific Ocean on the west to nearly San Francisco Bay on the east.  Daly City, central to two of the Bay Area’s major job growth zones of San Francisco and San Mateo counties, has become a regional hub for retail, healthcare and small business.  Because of its central location, diversified economy, excellent transportation links, and a growing young and productive labor force, Daly City’s future for economic growth is bright.  

Daly City’s extensive transportation infrastructure includes Highways 101 and 82, Interstate 280, and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system.  Interstate 280, which bisects Daly City, is a primary transportation corridor linking San Francisco with San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.   Daly City is approximately eight miles south of downtown San Francisco and the San Francisco International Airport is just nine miles from the City; both are easily accessible by freeway or BART.  Daly City is also served by the San Mateo and San Francisco transit systems.

Form of Government
Daly City is a General Law City (authority is set forth in the California Government Code) governed by a council-manager form of government in which the five-member City Council appoints the City Manager. The City Manager oversees an Executive Leadership Team in the operation of eight (8) departments employing approximately 475 staff with an annual estimated budget of $150 million.

According to the California State Department of Finance, Daly City has a current population of 102,593, which makes it San Mateo County’s largest city by population. The City is expected to remain in this position for the next twenty-five years according to the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).

For a summary of Daly City's 2010 census population, click here.  For more detailed census information, visit the U.S. Census Bureau website--your source for population, housing, economic, and geographic data.

Labor Force and Major Employers
Daly City has a labor force of 51,850 (mid-2004 estimate).  Based upon ABAG’s estimate of 25,320 local jobs, this equates to a participation rate of about 49%.  Approximately 51% of Daly City’s employed labor force works in San Francisco, about 17% work in either Daly City or South San Francisco and the remainder work in other Bay Area communities.  As of mid-2004, Daly City posted an unemployment rate of 5.3%, below the 6.1% statewide rate.

Daly City Employment
Daly City's economy is highly diversified, ranging from professional service providers to retail and wholesale trade and manufacturing.

Daly City Employment pie chart


Major Employers in Daly City


Type of Business


Seton Medical Center

Medical Services


Jefferson School District



City of Daly City



Target @ Serramonte

Retail center


U.S. Postal Service

International Mail Facility


Cow Palace

Event Center


Genesys Telecommunications Lab.

Telecommunications software


St. Francis Convalescent

Health Care



Retail center




One of Daly City's greatest assets is its affordably priced and conveniently located quality housing. Many homes have spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, the San Francisco Bay or some of the most picturesque golf courses in the country--the Olympic Club-Lakeside, the San Francisco Golf Club and Lake Merced Golf and Country Club.

Daly City has approximately 31,600 residential housing units according to the California Department of Finance. Of these units, slightly over 50% are single-family detached homes.  according to the California Association of Realtors, the median home sale price in Daly City has averaged approximately $585,000 over the last six months of 2004.  This is competitively lower than the median sales prices of $660,000 and $677,300 reported for San Mateo And San Francisco counties respectively over the same period.

According to public records, Daly City has approximately 6,900 apartment units that are studios, one-bedroom or two-bedrooms.  The estimated total stock of Daly City apartment units is less than 8,000, including units that are three-plus bedrooms.  Over the last six months in 2004, asking rents have generally ranged from $850 to $1,250 per month for one-bedroom units and from $1,100 to $1,700 per month for most two-bedroom units.

Daly City has also been nationally recognized for promoting the safety of its existing housing supply through its award winning Project Homesafe and its progressive second-unit/bonus housing ordinance. The ordinance encourages the legalization of owner-occupied homes with in-law/secondary units. Over 2,000 Project Homesafe permits have been issued since the beginning of the program.

The City also sponsors a housing rehabilitation loan program through its Department of Economic & Community Development.  Since 1983, 430 loans/grants averaging $10,000 have been granted for home repairs and modifications.


  • Air Travel: The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is located about 9 miles to the south or a 15-minute ride from the Daly City BART station. SFO has 58 passenger carriers. The Oakland International Airport (OAK) is located about 26 miles to the east and has 12 passenger carriers. OAK is about 34 minutes from Daly City by motor vehicle (non-commute hours) or about 60 minutes by BART and BART Shuttle.
  • Motor Vehicle Travel: Two major freeways serving Daly City are U.S. Highway 101 and Interstate 280. Interstate 280 essentially bisects Daly City geographically as well as in terms of the areas with the highest commercial and residential density.  Interstate 280 is less congested than U.S. 101 and therefore offers a preferred route into San Francisco (and locations further north and east) as well as southern peninsula locations. 
  • Public Transportation:  As stated for “air travel”, Daly City is served by the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) system, which provides access throughout the East Bay, San Francisco and the San Francisco International Airport.  BART also has an intermodal station at Millbrae that allows BART riders to access Cal Train that offers connections with San Jose and beyond.  Daly City has two BART stations. The San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI) and the San Mateo County Transit District (samTrans) also serve Daly City.  Bus service is provided throughout the City and converges at the Daly City BART stations and at the top of Mission Street (“Top-of-the-Hill”) at John Daly Boulevard.        

Daly City's Demographic and Economic Base 
Among the City’s newer projects taking advantage of its central location and superior accessibility is Pacific Plaza.  The first two phases of this award-winning mixed-use project features: a) a 352,000 square foot, Class A, office building, b) a twenty-screen Century Theatres cinema complex, and c) about 23,000 square feet of street level retail near the movie theatre complex.  Phase III is planned for development of more Class A office space and Phase IV is planned for a full service hotel.  

This project has been a marketing success with rapid leasing of the office space and the movie theatre achieving among the highest grossing sales of Bay Area theaters.  With its proximity to BART, Sam Trans and San Francisco Muni, Pacific Plaza is a project that also encourages public transit and provides easy access to the San Francisco International Airport.

Pacific Plaza has won the following awards:

  • November 2002: Metropolitan Transit Commission's Award of Merit
  • March 2003: California Redevelopment Association's Award of Excellence
  • April 2003: San Francisco Business Times: Best Project - Community Impact / Suburban

Daly City’s retail sector continues to flourish as population growth adds to the already high demand in the area.  Three major regional shopping areas are within the City: a) The Mission Street retail corridor, which borders San Francisco; b) Serramonte Center, a 860,000 square-foot regional shopping center located on Interstate 280; and c) Westlake Shopping Center, another regional shopping center of 620,000 square feet that is currently undergoing extensive renovation.  Taxable retail sales are among the highest and fastest growing of all metropolitan areas in the county.  In total, Daly City boasts approximately 3.1 million square feet of retail space.

Medical services are another important aspect of the Daly City economy.  Seton Medical Center is the City’s largest employer with over 1,500 employees.  This is an acute care hospital with 357 beds.  Its reputation as one of the leading medical facilities in the country has encouraged the development of additional clinics and laboratories adjacent to or near the hospital.  These include the Seton Medical Office Center, San Francisco Heart Institute, the Spine Care Medical Group, the San Francisco Neuro-Skeletal Imaging Center, and the Physician’s Medical Center.  Among the newest additions to Daly City’s health care field is Kaiser Permanente with 130,000 square feet of medical offices and clinics in a new building at 395 Hickey Boulevard near Interstate 280.

A considerable amount of Daly City’s economic growth is attributed to its young, skilled and productive labor force.  Six colleges or universities are within a ten-mile radius, and twelve more are within a 50-mile radius. According to the latest Census, nearly 78% of the City’s population is over eighteen, only 12% are of retirement age and the median age is 35.  Of Daly City’s total labor force, approximately half are working in local jobs--a participation rate close to 50%.

Quality of Life
Daly City offers a wide variety of recreational activities.  Daly City's scenic seven-mile coast is accessible to the public.  San Bruno Mountain, with 2,063 acres of diverse park land, offers spectacular views of the entire Bay Area and the Pacific Ocean.  Lake Merced Golf and Country Club is located within Daly City and the Olympic Club-Lakeside and the San Francisco Golf Club are adjacent to Daly City's northern boundary.  The City's Parks and Recreation Department offers more than 2,000 classes in activities that include ballroom dancing, quilting, first aid, and various intramural sports.  Over 15,000 adults participate in these classes and more than 260 teams compete in the youth sport leagues.  Daly City's Public schools fall within certain districts that have local district administrators and elected school boards.

There are three elementary (grades K-8) school districts serving Daly City: Brisbane, Bayshore, and Jefferson Elementary. Jefferson Union High School District, the largest school district, serves most of Daly City's grade 9-12 students, as well as Brisbane, Bayshore, Colma, and portions of San Bruno and the City of Pacifica. The South San Francisco Unified School District also serves residents in the Serramonte area of Daly City.

There are also several private and parochial schools accessible and convenient to Daly City residents beginning with preschool through graduate school.

Six colleges or universities are located within a ten mile radius of Daly City and an additional twelve colleges or universities are located within a fifty mile radius, including U.C. Berkeley, Stanford, San Francisco State University, and U.C. San Francisco.

Current and Future Developments
Growth opportunities exist for new and existing businesses to enjoy the synergy and provide services to many projects that are currently under development in Daly City.  Some of these projects are briefly summarized as follows:

  • Pacific Plaza: A three-phase mixed-use development composed of approximately 663,000 s.f. office and retail space, a 20-screen (3,950-seat) cinema, and a hotel.  Located next to the Daly City BART station, this project is expected to generate over 3,000 new jobs when completed.  Currently, the first two phases of this award-winning mixed-use project have been completed. Phase I features a 350,000 square foot, nine-story Class A, office building. Phase II features a twenty-screen Century Theatres cinema complex and about 23,000 square feet of street-level retail near the movie theatre complex.  This project has been a marketing success with rapid leasing of the office space and the movie theatre achieving among the highest grossing sales of Bay Area theaters.  Phase III is planned for development of 270,000 s.f. of Class A office space and Phase IV is planned for a ten-story full-service hotel.
  • Landmark: This is a two-phase office, retail and residential development.  The first phase, completed in 2009 and currently being marketed consists of approximately 17,000 s.f. of retail space along Mission Street and 95 residential condominiums. At least 15% of the residential units will be provided as affordable housing units.  The first phase will also include 395 off-street parking spaces to serve employees, customers, residents, and visitors of the War Memorial Community Center.  A portion of the parking spaces will be available for the second phase of the project.  The second phase is proposed for approximately 76,000 s.f. of office and retail space when supported by the market.
  • Westlake and Serramonte Shopping Centers: Both of these regional shopping centers undertook major renovation/expansion programs which are continuing.  Westlake, underwent a major redesign and refurbishment program, and has fully leased a newly created pedestrian mall.  Serramonte Shopping Center has undergone a face-lift with attractive interior improvements. 
  • The Geneva: This is a revitalizing mixed use development completed in 2009 in the Bayshore neighborhood of Daly City at 2665 Geneva Avenue.  Featuring over 15,000 s.f. of retail space, there are 72 residential condominiums.  At least 15% of the residential units will be provided as affordable housing units.  The Geneva also includes a public plaza, and off-street parking spaces to serve employees, customers, residents, and visitors.  This project is currently being marketed.
  • Monarch Village: Located near Seton Hospital, this is the newest and largest private senior apartment rental community with over 200 units.  Monarch Village opened in 2011.
  • Dunn Edwards: During 2009, the landmark Dunn Edwards building on Junipero Serra Boulevard was revitalized with a smaller Dunn Edwards store and the creation of new tenant spaces, parking areas and landscaped area.  The building is partially leased and currently being marketed.
  • Skyline Plaza, King Plaza and St. Francis Square Shopping Centers: Serving Daly City's large and diverse Asian community, these three neighborhood shopping centers are continuing regional shopping attractions, that continue to remain nearly 100% occupied.
  • Habitat for Humanity: Located within walking distance of the Colma Bart Station, the first Habitat for Humanity condominium development in California broke ground in 2010.  The project, which has won several awards for its design, features "Green" building techniques incorporating a substantial solar panel array, an onsite cistern and other innovations.  When completed, the project will serve 32 working families.

City Finance and Taxes

  • Sales Tax 9%
  • Transient Occupancy Tax 10% 

If you are a new or existing business interested in locating or relocating within Daly City, please visit Commercial Opportunities where you will find opportunities to rent, purchase, or list available commercial space.