As the calendar turns to 2016, it appears that the heat is about to turn up as well on a number of campaigns. On Friday, we received a pitch from former Councilmembers Debbie Nichols Poulos and Stephen Souza on Nishi.
They write, “For years now, we’ve watched as the Nishi Gateway project has blossomed and matured through a close working partnership between its project managers and the city, university, county, and community leaders. From Day 1, the Nishi Gateway project, a mixed use live-work space between the campus and Davis downtown, has been focused on making affordable car free living possible for its residents while infusing our local economy with millions of dollars in economic activity.”
They add, “The 325,000 square feet of flexible research and development space proposed for the Nishi site is capable of meeting the needs of a diverse set of businesses spawned from research at UC Davis, and if constructed, it will generate millions of dollars in revenue for Davis Joint Unified School District.”
It is a pitch for two things. First, they ask, “Can we count on your support for the Nishi Gateway? A critical vote by your City Council will take place in a few short days, and we want to make it clear to them that the Nishi Gateway has broad community support.” That is linked to a “take action” page on the website Davis For Nishi Gateway.
They have a second pitch as well, which links to a survey.
Here is the rest of the pitch:
Throughout a multi-year process as the details of the Nishi Gateway have been finalized in public hearings and collaborative meetings, we’ve been impressed by the passion of everyone involved to make sure that Nishi is a good fit for Davis now and into the future.
For example, while Nishi is projected to generate between $315 to $385 million in yearly economic output and create 1,500 to 1,800 permanent jobs, an earlier economic analysis suggested that Nishi would produce a small net deficit for the city’s general fund under some scenarios. The Nishi project managers responded to these concerns by ensuring that the project will generate revenue for the city’s general fund by pledging to pay for any loss in tax revenue caused by leasing portions of the site to UC Davis, by working with the county to ensure a more favorable tax sharing arrangement for the city, by taking over the city’s financial responsibility for onsite public park maintenance, and if deemed appropriate, by including an onsite hotel.
Another concern that has been raised is the importance of an access road to campus. After all, Nishi has been identified as the city’s best location for an innovation district precisely because of its close proximity to campus and its ability to transform research at UC Davis into locally-owned small businesses. We’re happy to report that the project managers have committed to only moving forward with Nishi if both access points are cleared for construction, and they’ve also committed to reducing onsite parking by an additional 10% to further encourage walking, cycling, and transit access.
Nishi is a project focused on a bright and sustainable future for Davis, and we encourage you to visit the Nishi Gateway’s website to learn more at http://www.davisfornishigateway.com. At the beginning of the new year, our City Council and Planning Commission will take critical votes that will determine whether or not Davis voters will have an opportunity to voice their approval for the Nishi Gateway. Again, we’re hoping we can count on your support for the Nishi Gateway at this critical juncture.