Last week, the Vanguard covered the presentation by Dan Ramos and Prakosh Pinto of the Mace Innovation Center. You can read the Vanguard synopsis – here. To watch the video of the presentation – see Proposed Mace Innovation Center Presentation – Jul 28th, 2014.
As Dan Ramos explained, there are really two key drivers for this innovation park – (1) fiscal benefits to the city and (2) the expressed need to keep Tyler Schilling and Schilling Robotics in Davis. Mr. Ramos talked about the economic driver in terms of high-end use buildings, where the combined property tax and sales tax revenues exceed $4 to $7 million. This, he argued, would be instrumental in generating tax revenue to help fund city services.
“The location of the project is ideal from a standpoint of access and visibility to I-80, and will have a meaningful impact on the perception of the City as a technology-driven, high-value locale,” he stated, noting that the project will play a key role in the Davis real estate market, affecting demand for residential, commercial, and office/R&D property.
He stated, “The real estate markets in Davis will be redefined by the project, as the City historically has been held back by a dearth of clean, developable parcels by sufficient scale to accommodate campus users. The setting of near key services and amenities addresses the needs that have been well documented by the Brookings Institute and others regarding quality of life factors that are increasingly important in competing for talent.”
The second driver is Schilling Robotics. Dan Ramos laid out, and Community Development Director Mike Webb clarified, an aggressive timeline that he believes is tight, but can succeed in keeping Schilling Robotics in Davis.
Both Dan Ramos and Mike Webb expect that, sometime in September, the project will make a formal application. There will be an extensive outreach process, and the city has recently solicited requests for qualifications from consulting firms or teams, to provide planning project management and CEQA services for multiple development applications proposed for review by the City of Davis. The deadline for those requests is August 11.
They talked about, by this time next year, having the project ready for the city council to take action, as there are city, state and county deadlines. For that to happen, Mike Webb explained there needs to be a lot of outreach, even before they get to an application phase. There is scheduled at this time another outreach meeting on August 23.
The goal is to get this to a Measure R vote by November of 2015. If that vote is successful, the city would work with LAFCo (Local Agency Formation Commission) to initiate formal annexation proceedings. Mike Webb went on to explain that the city would be engaging LAFCo throughout the process so that once the project is ready, LAFCo is aware of the situation and ready to begin its process expeditiously.
Dan Ramos explained that his goal is to have the site ready for Tyler Schilling as early as winter or spring of 2017 – and he seemed confident, with Tyler Schilling sitting in the audience, that this timeframe would work for Mr. Schilling.
He said that they will do what they can to accommodate the use by Tyler Schilling and make sure they have the Schilling site up and going.