Back in November, 2012, the Davis City Council approved a “Pre-Development Cost Funding and Negotiation Agreement for the Nishi Property.” The goal was planning the site as a mix of university-related research park development complemented by high-density urban housing.
On October 1, 2013, “[t]he City Council committed funding for the joint planning effort and approved the following City-specific goals to plan the Nishi property and nearby UC Davis campus property as a mixed-use innovation district: a. Jobs for Davis residents, space for Davis businesses, and furtherance of city-wide efforts to position Davis as an innovation hub; b. High-density urban residential development near downtown and employment centers; c. Improved appearance and function of the “front door” to Davis; d. Support for downtown Davis by providing customers for businesses, hotels, arts, and entertainment; and e. Revenue generation to support city services throughout the community.”
Staff reports that over the past several months, representatives “from the City, UC Davis, the property owner, the county, and LAFCo [Local Agency Formation Commission] have been working diligently to get to a starting point for community discussion on planning for the mixed-use innovation district.”
The biggest question is going to be traffic impacts and access issues, particularly if the project will have an access point back out to Richards Blvd. Toward that end, staff reports that the applicant has already engaged traffic and archeological consultants for background investigations and conducted preliminary engineering feasibility for a railroad grade-separated crossing, and obtained approval from UPRR (Union Pacific Railroad) in concept.
Many believe the site is best suited for a university access point under the tracks around Mondavi Center.
Staff is seeking direction to begin community outreach on the alternative design frameworks as well as authorization to apply to the Strategic Growth Council seeking grant funds for technical implementation plans for the district.
In the meantime, Council Received presentations from UC Davis and the Developer Perkins + Will.
Click here to see the 07-Davis-Innovation-and-Economic-Vitality-Strategy-Presentation.
Below is video of the presentation by Perkins + Will: