A developer is eying a large, single-story commercial development and proposing that they transform it into a seven-story mixed-use building, with retail on the ground floor and rental housing above retail, office and parking. Sound familiar? It fits right into the discussion over the Davis Downtown, except that this proposal, which was revised on Friday, is for redeveloping University Mall.
The Brixmor Property Group is proposing that they redevelop University Mall “to enhance existing retail uses and add residential units to create a vibrant mixed-use development. The purpose of the project is to provide a shopping and residential environment that meets the needs of the local Davis community.”
They write: “This experiential project is designed to create a pedestrian and bike friendly environment while providing better and more functional retail, restaurants, and residential amenities.”
The current use of the 8.25 acre parcel is a 103,695 square foot neighborhood shopping center that features commercial uses and restaurants.
Over the years it has had various occupants, including Safeway, Harvest Market, and Gottschalks, among others. Currently the major tenants are Trader Joe’s, Forever 21, Cost Plus World Market, and The Davis Graduate. Professional offices are located on a partial second floor.
Trader Joe’s is located on its own stand-alone pad that is located at the corner of Russell Boulevard and Sycamore Lane. There are currently 427 parking spaces, mostly lining Russell Blvd.
The ARCO service station is not part of the property, and is located on Anderson and Russell in the southeast corner of the block. UC Davis is located immediately across the south side of the site with multi-family apartments located to the north of the site, and a single-family neighborhood farther north and east of the site.
The developer proposes the demolition of the entire approximately 90,653 square feet of the existing mall to create a mixed-use development. They are proposing the addition of 264 multi-family residential units and 136,800 square feet of retail space.
The proposal would not touch the existing 13,000-square-foot Trader Joe’s.
They propose the new retail space would accommodate shops, restaurants and other uses.
“The proposed improvements and uses would intensify and revitalize the center,” the developer writes. It includes a garage structure with three levels of parking. “At buildout, the project would include approximately 808,500 sf.”
That includes 412,500 in residential, 150,000 in retail, and a 246,000 parking garage.
“The existing building that currently houses the mall retail uses would be demolished and rebuilt to include four levels of residential units over three levels of parking and four levels of residential uses over retail uses,” they write.
They are proposing that two new pads would be added to the site adjacent to Russell Boulevard and would add approximately 30,000 sf of retail space.
They note, “It is the intent of Brixmor to retain as many of the existing tenants as possible.”
The proposed building height would be seven stories or approximately 80 feet. That would be comparable in height to the proposed Davis Live housing across Sycamore to the west.
The developers note: “The intent is to design the project to a LEED Gold equivalency with contemporary architectural elements. The design of the building will utilize energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems.”
They note, “The redeveloped site landscaping would include outdoor seating and congregating areas, bicycle parking, plazas and pedestrian connections among buildings. These new nodes will be designed to provide a pleasant experience for both the residences and shoppers alike.
“Through the intensification of an existing retail development verses converting an open space into a new development a high level of sustainability will be achieved,” they add.
On the residential usage, the developers are planning four levels of multi-family residential units over parking and retail that would create a vertical mixed-use project.
The project proposes 264 multi-family units which would consist of one, two, four and five-bedroom units that range in size from 700 to 18000 square feet. They estimate the total bed count to be 894.
They write: “Due to the immediate proximity to the University of Davis campus, the residential is primarily focused on student use, but will also welcome and include many options for non-students as well.”
The residential units will be arranged around a courtyard with a pool and an outdoor lounge area. Additional amenities will include will include a fitness room, extensive bike storage, a bike repair station, rooftop terrace and resident services.
To serve that population will be 693 parking spaces, of which 264 are for residential use and 429 are for retail use.
The 429 retail parking spaces for retail uses are planned in the first, second and third floors of the parking structure (249 spaces) and surface parking (200 spaces).
The shopping center community parking requirements for the site is 3.5 parking spaces per 1,000 sf, which equates to 429 required parking spaces. All parking for residential units will be on the third level of the parking structure with 0.30 parking spaces per bed.
There will be bike parking on the first level of the residential building and each floor of the garage. One biking space will be provided per bed with 124 garage and surface-level spots to serve retail uses.
To achieve this project, it proposes a Rezone/Preliminary Development and a General Plan Amendment to permit the mix of retail and residential uses at the proposed density and building height.
Modifications to PD #2-97 are proposed to reflect development standards for the proposed project. A General Plan Amendment is needed to address the mix of uses with the larger residential component, as well as addressing the allowable floor area ratio to accommodate the project’s 1.48 floor area ratio for the residential and retail building area.
—David M. Greenwald reporting