Panattoni Announces 225,000 Square Foot Office Park in Davis


DTZ, a global leader in commercial real estate services, announced today that Panattoni Development Company, Inc. has gone into escrow on an undeveloped ±14.81 acre site in Davis, CA. Panattoni plans to develop between ±150,000 and ±225,000 square feet of new Class A office, lab and technology space on the site.

Located at 3501 Chiles Boulevard, the subject property is zoned for a business park and commercial use. The site is said to be the largest undeveloped site within the City of Davis currently approved for development.

The announcement comes at a time when the city is working on two peripheral innovation park proposals – one east of Mace Blvd. and the other northwest of Sutter-Davis Hospital – that could add nearly 7 million square feet of high tech and innovation space. Nishi, adjacent to UC Davis has plans for another 300 to 500 thousand square feet.

Those proposals put the size of the Panattoni proposal into perspective.

According to a press release, “The proposed state-of-the-art campus design will focus on sustainability, technological enhancements, and a strong sense of place both indoors and outdoors.”

San Francisco-based global architectural firm Vitae Architecture will be designing the campus and Cunningham Engineering, which has done a great deal of work in Davis, including at UC Davis West Village’s zero net energy community, will be providing engineering services.

Panattoni has selected Jim Gray, CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member), and Nahz Anvary, CCIM, brokers with DTZ for the project leasing assignment. Based in the firm’s Sacramento office, Mr. Gray and Ms. Anvary specialize in commercial real estate located within the Sacramento Region, and both reside in Davis. They are also representing the existing land ownership in the sale to Panattoni.

Jim Gray told the Vanguard in an email, “We believe that this is an exciting opportunity for our city!  It is a significant infill opportunity to create jobs and great new buildings as well as community amenities. It is our opinion that if the Innovation Parks get approved and voted on by the citizens in the affirmative that it will be 4-6 years before real buildings could be delivered.”

He added that they are completely behind the Innovation Parks, but they believe that “this is a project that could be leveraged by a world class organization to show that Davis can build quality buildings and related facilities and amenities so that we can attract and retain good businesses.”

Located between Mace Boulevard and the Richards Boulevard/Downtown Davis off ramp with freeway visibility on the south side of Interstate 80, the proposers believe that the site is well connected to the bike paths and greenbelts in Davis and is close to the other major business parks where the majority of off-campus technology and institutional users are located, including University Research Park and Mace Ranch.

Tim Schaedler, a partner in Panattoni Development Company which is spearheading the development plan, said, “There is a real shortage today of space for mid-size and large companies in Davis. We are pleasantly surprised by the interest, enthusiasm and energy focused on our project. We believe we can deliver high quality and competitively priced workplaces that will be a valuable addition to the Davis community. Our new project will be one of the last fully zoned freeway visible office developments available in Davis.”

“This is really exciting news,” said Mayor Dan Wolk in the release. “The Panattoni Company is a world class builder. That they picked Davis to build such a significant project just underscores what I’ve been saying lately — we are clearly experiencing an economic resurgence in Davis.”

“This project means jobs,” added Mayor Wolk. “It means increased sales and property tax revenues for the City. And it will be an economic development catalyst. As I said during a talk with Chamber of Commerce leaders the other day, ‘I want to renew Davis.’ To build on what we have done over the past decades, not resting on our laurels. This is the type of project that leads us down that path.”

“We are actively targeting tenants and users for the proposed buildings. In this early stage, large and midsized companies are going to have the opportunity to get the property tailored for their specific needs,” said Mr. Gray. “There are many companies and institutions in Northern California that might be interested in a presence in Davis due to the ability to collaborate with UC Davis, the highly educated workforce, and strong quality of life that exists here.”

Nahz Anvary stated, “There is a strong relationship between the University of California at Davis and the business community in the region and we are sharing our planning efforts with both the business community and the University, including with faculty, researchers, departments and operating units. We believe there will be great synergies and opportunities for collaboration providing new space for firms who have relationships with UCD who want close proximity to their academic colleagues and to a talented pool of employees and UCD students.”

“From a macroeconomic perspective, the project just makes perfect sense, said Gretchen Becker, consultant for Panattoni.

Mr. Gray noted “There is a scarcity of existing available spaces larger than ±10,000 square feet. You can’t recruit businesses to Davis if there isn’t space. Also, it’s very troubling that Davis based firms cannot find modern facilities to accommodate their growth.”

Panattoni and DTZ said in their release that they “believe that there is great momentum and focus on the community of Davis, and an active collaboration amongst the City, the community, the University, and the development team will result in a dynamic and vibrant business park that will become of the most desirable business environments in the Sacramento Valley.”

Mr. Gray added, “Of course, to achieve success, the entire team’s efforts will need to embrace and enhance the DNA of the community of Davis, which includes great planning and design, sustainable buildings and innovation, close relationships between the University and the City as well as deep roots in Agriculture, Education, and civic participation.”

The Panattoni Development Company is “a commercial real estate development company specializing in industrial, office and retail projects. The company has the depth, expertise and capacity to quickly respond to the demands of its clients. Panattoni provides users multi-market solutions completing quality projects on time and within budget.”

Further, “Panattoni is a global firm with projects underway throughout northern California and around the Globe. Carl Panattoni began his firm in Sacramento and the founder still lives in northern California.”

“Panattoni’s commitment to environmental excellence will be woven into the fabric of the new campus through elevated efficiency, enhanced performance goals, connectivity with nature, and sustainability,” the company information stated.

DTZ is “a global leader in commercial real estate services providing occupiers, tenants and investors around the world with a full spectrum of property solutions. Our core capabilities include agency leasing, tenant representation, corporate and global occupier services, property management, facilities management, facilities services, capital markets, investment and asset management, valuation, building consultancy, research, consulting, and project and development management.

“DTZ manages 3.3 billion square feet and $63 billion in transaction volume globally on behalf of institutional, corporate, government and private clients. Our more than 28,000 employees operate across more than 260 offices in more than 50 countries and proudly represent DTZ’s culture of excellence, client advocacy, integrity and collaboration.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Aggie

    This sounds like a great project.  A real deliverable proposal with a very credible team.

    I guess the City can now start talking about four “innovation park” proposals. It certainly takes the time pressure off Nishi and West Covell. Mace is still urgent because of the critical need to retain FMC Schilling.

    Would like to see the Chiles site as dense as possible, so they need to be encouraged to hit 250,000 sq ft (if not more). I’ve often wondered if there was an opportunity to put in a east bound-only on/off ramp near that location. Don’t think there is enough vacant land, but if there was a long stacking lane on the freeway it might work.

  2. Frankly

    One thing for sure, Davis is growing a I-80 bottleneck.  Cal Trans was stupid only putting 3 lanes on the causeway 15 years ago when they updated it.  But it is clear that we will need 4 or 5 lanes from the 113 overpass to the 80/50 split.

    1. South of Davis

      Frankly wrote:

      > One thing for sure, Davis is growing a I-80 bottleneck.  

      I ride and drive over I80 quite a bit and while I would like to see an extra lane (or lanes) on the causeway traffic is not bad on I 80 through Davis very much with the exception of the slight slowdown at commute times and the big slowdown almost every Friday (when Bay Area people are heading to Tahoe)…

    2. Miwok

      They need alternate routes and bridges.. Four or five lanes only means you bottle up twice the cars when someone has a brain fart. SEE: Sacramento

      Also, this is not a slight slowdown at commute hours, this is a stop on the way anywhere both ways. The idea they can make traffic flow by making ONE street wider is a fallacy.

      My ideas on this will not even be thought of in my lifetime, let alone built. SEE Route 12 near Napa and Fairfield, all the way east. No new bridges over the American or Sacramento River since, what 30 or 40 years? They only improve them when they fall down.

      I have been going to Vallejo every couple months and Fairfield is a multihour lunacy every day, let alone SOD’s Favorite day, Friday. 🙂

  3. Davis Progressive

    i’ve always wondered about this space.  it seems ideal for some sort of business park.  my concern however is if we get nishi and this project, will the voters and council start to think we have enough and lose focus on the innovation parks.

    1. Aggie

      We need Mace ASAP regardless of Chiles or Nishi. If West Covell drops off the fast track, no big deal.

      Mace is the city’s best (and maybe only) opportunity to retain FMC Schilling. If we lose FMC on the heels of Bayer, our economic development strategy is toast.

      1. Frankly

        I mostly agree with this.  Unfortunately the buzz in the CC and with city staff is that they are impressed with the north Davis proposal and not the Ramos proposal for the Mace park.

        It is all about the “shiny things”… and I guess the retention of Schilling is not shiny enough.  In fact, I have talked to a couple of CC members that admit to being a bit heated feeling like the Shilling retention is being used as leverage for Ramos to submit a substandard proposal.

        I don’t see it that way.  I see there is a need for two “flavors” of larger innovation parks… one that is a bit more research-industrial and the other that is a bit more academic-office.  And it makes complete sense that the park more research-industrial is next to the major freeway.

        But if you are of the mind that we only want/need one of these developments, and you are one that likes all the shiny things, it makes sense that you would push for the north Davis park and support seeing the Mace park defeated even if it means losing Shilling.

        1. Don Shor

          What about the Ramos proposal makes it more ‘research-industrial’? Is it really just more ‘industrial’? Is this team really just proposing some tilt-up buildings? I’d be curious in what way it is substandard. Seems that the Ramos team would know what’s needed to get a project passed in Davis. Are they not performing? You seem to be setting up a message that it’s the council or staff’s fault. What do you mean by “shiny things?”

          1. Matt Williams

            I don’t agree with Frankly’s choice of “research-industrial” either Don. If I were to draw a distinction between the two sites I would say that both are focused on the technology transfer of core competencies of UCD’s leading research programs, but that the competencies of the programs led by Dr. Kazuo Yamazaki, UC-Davis professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering (see Mori-Seiki and Schilling Robotics) appear to be more closely tied to the Mace site rather than the Davis Innovation Center site, perhaps because of the current 2nd Street locations of DMG Mori and FMC Schilling. The Davis Innovation Center site may well prove to be more attractive to the core competencies of the broad range of UCD’s pure agricultural research, as well as other world class UCD programs like Food Safety.

            With the above said, I personally wouldn’t label either DMG Mori or FMC Schilling as “industrial.” I would say the following quotation from the Japan Society of North America is more illustrative.

            Japanese machine tool giant Mori Seiki decided to gamble on the talents of University of California-Davis mechanical engineering student Adam Hansel and his friends, the result was an off-shored research center that has both created a slew of cutting-edge innovations in machine tool design, and significantly improved its Japanese parent company’s competitiveness around the world.

            The human catalyst for the bold decision was Dr. Kazuo Yamazaki, a UC-Davis professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering. In the year 2000, Dr. Yamazaki led an initiative by Hansel and a handful of his fellow graduate students intent on seeing their research reach commercial markets.

        2. Aggie

          Unfortunately the buzz in the CC and with city staff is that they are impressed with the north Davis proposal and not the Ramos proposal for the Mace park.

          FMC has made it pretty clear they want to be on I-80 at Mace, so the city needs to deal with it – and get the job done.

          Are you saying that staff and council are manipulating the process in favor of West Covell? If so, I think its more political than substantive.

        3. Frankly

          Need to clear up some things here.

          First, I don’t run in political circles enough to say what the political winds are.  But even on this blog there have been many comments that the west Davis proposal is more impressive and the Mace proposal is less impressive.  Why?  Features, use of space, green, connectivity, density, etc., etc., etc… those are the “shiny things” that are not necessarily uniquely Davis… but Davis is like a minority of communities that seem driven by activist types that demand these things.

          And thinking about my initial comment, I have to back-track a bit in commenting that I heard this from two CC members, because Frankly (because I am), thinking about this again, I really cannot remember exactly where I heard the comments.

          What really worries me is that we have all these unqualified cooks in the kitchen somehow thinking they are magically capable to design what a successful and attractive innovation park should be.   Business knows what it needs and wants, and developers are driven to design a park that meets the needs of business that would acquire the parcels in the park.

          And my point about the more light-industrial flavor of the Mace park versus the West Davis park is my own perception… but one that I think makes perfect sense.

          But then since it makes perfect sense to me, the Davis activists will probably demand the exact opposite.

          And so it goes.

          Shilling is just one company.  Yes, it is a home-grown company and it makes sense that the city work to try and retain it… but emotional attachment to a company is really quite silly.  Companies are economic entities and they will do what makes economic sense… even moving to Texas if it makes sense.

          Nevertheless, it is the bird in the hand.  It provides good jobs.  It generates tax revenue for the city.  We would be stupid to discount the need to help the space be available.

          And if the stupid city had not given away Mace 391, we would be in the driver’s seat to do just that.


        4. Jim Frame

          What really worries me is that we have all these unqualified cooks in the kitchen somehow thinking they are magically capable to design what a successful and attractive innovation park should be.   Business knows what it needs and wants, and developers are driven to design a park that meets the needs of business that would acquire the parcels in the park.

          You seem reluctant to acknowledge that there are 3 decision-making groups in this matter: the developers, their prospective tenants, and the voters.  Each has a big stake in the outcome, and each can be expected to act in its own perceived best interest.  Implying that the voters should refrain from influencing the design of the projects is not only wishful thinking, it’s an insult to those who care enough about their community to try to make it a better place.  The fact that everyone’s idea of “a better place” isn’t perfectly coincident with yours is irrelevant.

        5. Frankly

          I accept the three stakeholder groups.  I don’t see the third as being the voters as much as voters influenced by the third… those vocal activist types.  My point is that the voter activist types need to respect the needs and wants of the other two.

          And sorry, but I don’t think that the most of the activists really do understand marketability.  Some do, but most over-estimate the developer profits and fail to consider the needs of the businesses.


    2. Jim Gray

      We want to be on the record that we are very supportive of the Innovation Parks. To me and my 30+ years of experience in Development and Real Estate and being a Davis resident since 1975, we believe that the innovation parks should be seen as long term employment and job creating infrastructure.  Very complicated.  Take a great deal of time to complete and to fill.  The become a resource for the future. They help to provide a resource for future collaboration between the Univeristy/ The City / and Businesses and vital public institutions.   Interland is now 30+ years old.  Mace Ranch was approved in the General Plan of 1987.  I co-developed the 5th Street Commerce Center focused on small business, and contractors/artisans and it took 20 years.  Still one lot out of 12 available.   To me it is like digging a well or building an airport.  It creates the necessary facilities and opportunities to allow business to grow a way of “paying forward”.


      1. Frankly

        Very well said Jim.  I think this is a bit lost on many since we don’t have much timely experience with business or innovation parks.  Some of the response indicates an expectation that these parks would fill with a timeline similar to a residential development.  Not the case at all.   Some of us will not be around to see the full population of these parks. The motivation should be to build something for our kids to see and benefit from.

  4. Michelle Millet

    He added that they are completely behind the Innovation Parks, but they believe that “this is a project that could be leveraged by a world class organization to show that Davis can build quality buildings and related facilities and amenities so that we can attract and retain good businesses.”

    This development back’s up to my street. I was wondering if some of the amenities could include a coffee shop and a place to buy a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, and maybe a crossing light at Drummond so I feel comfortable sending my kids to shop for the above items for me.

    Honestly it sounds like a interesting project, I’m looking forward to learning more about it.

      1. Aggie

        Couldn’t the intersection be ungraded to take a lane of freeway traffic off of I-80 east and deliver a lane of city traffic to I-80 east? The vacant triangle of land north of the intersection and wide I-80 right-of-way makes this look like a pretty easy upgrade from a design standpoint. I know Caltrans is impossible to deal with but this type of freeway connectivity would make the Chiles project pretty special.

        1. Miwok

          SEE Auburn Blvd just east of Marconi. No entrance, just exit. I think Bell St? Marconi only exits eastbound too, and unless you use Mapquest, it doesn’t enter 80.

          Golf Course on the Westbound side. Exit only then Entrance to Westbd at Marconi..

        1. Jim Frame

          To expand on hpierce’s response, my understanding is that Caltrans policy precludes building a freeway interchange within 1 mile of an existing interchange, because of the conflict between traffic getting on the freeway with traffic getting off of it.  This policy played a major role in the fact that Pole Line Road has an overcrossing but no interchange.

        2. hpierce

          There COULD have been a full interchange of I-80 and Drummond (formerly CR 103), but a Mr Corbett and others opposed to the development of Mace Ranch convinced the CC to put an overcrossing at Pole Line (which many on Pole Line vehemently opposed).  Their rationale was that if there was no OC @ CR 103, there would be no Mace Ranch.  That rationale worked just about as well as the rationale of the folks who opposed the widening of Richards, circa 1973, was that they wanted to make sure there was little if any further development of what is now known as South Davis.  Again, amazing how brilliant these “visionaries” were.

    1. Jim Gray

      The Developer, the team that includes great architects and engineers is considering various options and alternatives. We all  love coffee and Ben and Jerry’s and chocolate and wine for that matter… The goal is to create  great spaces for knowledge and professional workers.  Adding accessory uses and facilities for bikes, day care, limited food service, transportation amenities, workout spaces that create a better sense of place and support the primary goal of office and lab that is what is likely to be focused on and become reality…

      1. Michelle Millet

        Jim Gray- I really like the idea of having the amenities you mentioned included in the plan. It will be nice for people to be able to walk from work to a coffee shop, or a place to get lunch. (Or walk across the street).  Not being able to do so is one of the big disadvantages I see in being located in a more traditional office park.

  5. TrueBlueDevil

    Gray notes that the Innovation Parks are at least six years away, so is it correct to assume that his implication is that this development will be on the market much sooner?

    And forgive me if I missed this in prior articles, but can someone take a stab at what a development like this will do for the city coffers? 1. What monies will be a net gain / loss in the short term (i.e., building and connection fees), and 2. What will be the estimated yearly economic benefits?

  6. Jim Gray

    I hope that the Innovation Parks can get through their public and environmental review… Refine their plans, get approved by the Planning Commission, the City Council, The Voters, LAFCO, Annex.  Pay for and develop their infrastructure, build their buildings and attract and lease or sell to world class businesses.  I hope that this will happen in a expedited manner and that they are approved and that competition amongst the sites and developers creates better projects and stimulates affordability and differentiation amongst the various projects… I am not sure what their various schedules are… But for the sake of the community and the region we wish them God’s Speed and Good Luck.

    What I do know is that this site is in the City Limits.  It is zoned Business Park.  It has streets and proximity to bike paths and bus stops. It has a World Class Developer, Panattoni Development,  who is ready willing and able.  We look forward to finding a great tenant or two or three and woking to get something done.  We have nearly a 30 year head start.  It was approved for a business park in the 1987 General Plan and the Mixed Use neighborhood that is the backdrop is also 30 years old.

    There are very few spaces larger than 10,000 square feet where we can attract and recruit tenants to now. But the real tragedy is we don’t have new quality spaces for the existing businesses to grow and flourish within Davis.

    We hope to fill those needs!

  7. Jim Gray

    Thanks Don… These types of transactions require a lot of time, money, a great team, patience and luck to put together… We promise that we will be working to develop something that is consistent with the values of  Davis. The proposed state-of-the-art campus is intended to have Class A office/R&D with design focused upon sustainability, collaborative work spaces- including indoor and outdoor spaces. 

    Of course to achieve success the entire teams efforts will need to embrace and enhance the DNA of the community of Davis. That DNA includes great planning and design, sustainable buildings and innovation, close relationships between the University and the City as well as deep roots in Agriculture, Education, and Civic participation.

    We will make a strong effort to pull this off.  We are committed and working hard and we need some luck and a good tenant or three to help accelerate the effort.  

    All the best.

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