My View: Reality Hits Home with the Impending Loss of Schilling Robotics

Schilling Robotics as posted on Davis Wiki

The reality is that Tyler Schilling warned us – he warned us back in 2014 that they were going to need more space.  He warned the council, “We’re going to need a sizable parcel to build a new facility and I would dearly love to be able to do it here in Davis.”

We got a temporary reprieve as the oil market softened, but five years after he got in front of the council – time ran out.

This is about space – we don’t have it.  When we have the space, we can sell this community to prospective companies.  When we don’t have space – as Danielle Casey pointed out this August – we don’t even get a look.

This wasn’t about saving Schilling anymore. We knew they were gone. We knew they were gone in December. We knew they were gone in June when ARC (Aggie Research Campus) announced itself. It was effectively lost when we couldn’t get MRIC (Mace Ranch Innovation Center) to the ballot five years ago. That’s when the clock started. The only thing that changed now is that the clock has struck midnight.

This is about saving the next Schilling. And, just as importantly, it is about creating space so that the city can start becoming creative and working to bring high tech companies to Davis, rather than crossing their fingers to keep what we have.

This is not a good week. It doesn’t feel good. There is no silver lining – except and unless it inspires us to action.

We have run through these numbers before – the city simply lacks larger options for companies to move into.  We can now put this into perspective.  Schilling Robotics is moving into about 21 acres.  The city currently has no available land at that size.

Mori Seiki moved into a spot that was just under 15 acres.  Right now there is exactly one parcel that is vacant at that size.  That is the parcel at Cowell and Chiles.  That is the parcel that Jim Gray told us likely is not going to be available in the foreseeable future.

That’s it.  The 124.5 acres of commercially zoned land that the city identified in January remains misleading and elusive.  The reality is about 30 of those acres are already owned and purposed for expansion of Sutter and Kaiser.  Another 25 to 30 of those acres, which actually could become valuable land at some point, remain unavailable as part of the Frontier Fertilizer Superfund size.

That means, instead of 124.5 acres, it is more like 60 acres, and three-quarters of that is in parcels of seven acres or less.  Someone from the city told me there might be no parcels on the market at this time larger than two acres.

That’s the reality that we face.

None of this is actually new.  This was the reality that we learned of back in 2012 when the Studio 30 report came out.

They wrote, “The current isolated and dispersed sites that are available and appropriately zoned are not adequate in terms of size, location, or configuration (and related constraints) to address the emerging market need of an Innovation Center.”

The study continues, “With available reasonably priced land and effective marketing to innovative high tech companies, Studio 30 estimates Davis could absorb up to 10 percent or around 100,000 square feet of the 1-1.5 million industrial/office square footage absorbed annually in the Sacramento region. Because of this Studio 30 estimates Davis needs at least 200 acres for business development and expansion over a 20 +/- year time horizon.”

That is why the Studio 30 report recommended the city in the intermediate term look at Nishi – which eventually was defeated as a 300,000 square foot R&D center with housing and approved as rental housing only – and one of two peripheral sites, which right now is the form of the Aggie Research Center.

It was a blow six years ago when we lost homegrown company AgraQuest which was bought out by Bayer and moved to West Sacramento.  This is even a bigger blow – in part because we were warned five years ago it was coming.

Some have said, well, someone else will move into there.  Yes, at some point in the future, someone else will likely be able to move into there.  But, let’s look at what we lose.

First, we lose the certainty of that spot being filled now.  Unfortunately we don’t have tax figures as to how much revenue per year that is.  We are losing the jobs there.  We are losing the community support that Schilling has provided over the years.

Will a full-fledged company move in with the all the employees and tax revenue of Schilling?  And how long will it be?

But we lose more than that.  Because if we had had 20 to 30 acres available for a move up, we get the new company and the move up.  We are losing out on 21 acres and 400,000 square feet of projected growth from Schilling.  To put that into perspective, Nishi was creating 300,000 square feet of R&D space, Schilling is creating up to 400,000.

But it is not just Schilling we are losing.  It is the opportunity to get other companies to move into here.  Right now, most larger companies needing space are not even looking in this direction.  Heck, it is questionable that, if another Mori Seiki were looking to move here, we could accommodate that.

Aggie Research Center is the most likely solution to this problem.  This is really not a huge risk for the city.  We are creating entitled land that a company could move into.  If they don’t come, the land stays as it is now.

But by creating the capacity for 185 acres and 2.6 million square feet of R&D space, we give ourselves a chance in the future – a chance to keep the next Schilling Robotics.  A chance to attract a new company to replace their loss.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


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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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72 Comments

  1. Ron Glick

    Question: Why couldn’t we get it done in five years?

    Answer: Measure R.

    If you go back to the video to Robb Davis’ first meeting, in June or July of 2014, where Schilling laid it out, not one CC member wanted to lose this company. Robb Davis even exclaimed “Davis is open for business!”

    If they had the power they would have annexed land for Schilling’s expansion but they didn’t have the power because Measure R takes away that power from the elected representatives of the city and gives it directly to those who can vote in city elections.

    As long as Davis has a Measure J/R ordinance Davis will continue to lose out on opportunities like Schilling’s expansion.

  2. Craig Ross

    Since no one wants to raise this point – I will…

    The city has 25 acres out there.  They could have swapped the land for a more appropriate location and found a developer to get it entitled and through the Measure R process.

    The city also dropped the ball on keeping Schilling.

    I don’t disagree that there is plenty of blame here including Measure R and the lack of land, but the city had options they did not explore.  That’s on them.

  3. Rik Keller

    Run G.: in your zeal to rail against Measure R at every opportunity, you are attempting to re-write history.

    Here’s what actually happened and was said at the time when the developers withdrew the MRIC proposal (source: DE):

    Developers of the proposed Mace Ranch Innovation Center officially withdrew their request Thursday morning to bring a 102-acre, scaled-down version of the project before voters on the November ballot.
    “We have concluded that our reformulated proposal, including a November 2016 ballot measure, lacks council support and we are therefore today ceasing our processing efforts,” Dan Ramos, project manager, wrote in a letter to the Davis City Council.
     

    And 

    The reception to our proposal was disappointing, with a majority of the council expressing a variety of concerns and focusing on perceived obstacles to its implementation,” Ramos wrote.

     
    And this:

    This isn’t the first time the Mace proposal has been put on hold. Developers pressed “pause” on the project in April after the council declined to allow developers to move forward with a version of the project that included 850 units for workforce housing.

    Additionally, as discussed in this  comment section  recently, another thing that was going on is that there wasn’t actually enough projected demand for the project to move forward. In the intervening time, it is notable that the developer has still not secured any prospective anchor tenants and is trying to be as vague as possible about project details

    The developers did take the highly unusual step when they withdrew the project a couple of years ago of continuing to press for the cretics toon of an EIR, despite the lack of a concrete proposal. Mayor Robb Davis said at the time: “The Final EIR may be flawed but we cannot formally declare it as so without a certification process.”

    As the Vanguard stated at the time, there was not a viable project proposal on the table: “In the end, unless the developer puts forth a viable project, this is all a moot point anyway.”

     

     

     

     

     

  4. Craig Ross

    Here’s an example of why it’s dangerous for people who were not there to be making comments based on press coverage:

    ” “We have concluded that our reformulated proposal, including a November 2016 ballot measure, lacks council support and we are therefore today ceasing our processing efforts,” Dan Ramos, project manager, wrote in a letter to the Davis City Council.”

    Why did the council not support the project?  because of concerns that housing would not be viable for an election.

    It is not that they didn’t support the project, it was a Measure R concern.  Keller completely missed this because once again… he. Was. Not. There.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Craig: “Keller completely missed this because once again… he. Was. Not. There.”

      I was there.  The MRIC developers are the ones who “pulled the plug” on a commercial development, unless it included housing.  At that time, the council had given the “green light” for the MRIC developers to pursue a commercial proposal.

      “This isn’t the first time the Mace proposal has been put on hold. Developers pressed “pause” on the project in April after the council declined to allow developers to move forward with a version of the project that included 850 units for workforce housing.”

    2. David Greenwald

      The whole backdrop to this debate has been whether MRIC was viable with housing – by viable, it could pass a Measure R vote. That was the whole consideration. Those were the concerns council had. Rik completely misunderstood the context of what he was posting.

      1. Ron Oertel

        The “backdrop” to this debate is your assertion that the city is somehow at “fault” (for not enabling a company that obtains revenue from the oil and gas industry) to remain in Davis, as they pursued expansion plans.

        When in reality, the MRIC developers and Schilling were provided with ample opportunity to do just that.

        It appears that the “viability” of that opportunity didn’t work out, for the developers and Schilling. This is not surprising, given that there are communities like West Sacramento which likely offer much better lease terms.

        1. Ron Oertel

          I’ve noticed that when you get backed into a corner (and have nothing else to say), you appear to feign lack of understanding.

          Suggest you re-read my comment above, as there’s not much sense in repeating it.

        2. David Greenwald

          It’s hard to be backed into a corner when you don’t know what someone is saying.

          My point in the article was we don’t have the space to accommodate businesses like Schilling.  We had chances to do it, but things went wrong and we are going to lose out on revenue and jobs.

          Ron Glick made a point that I didn’t – that without Measure R, Schilling would still be here.

          Rik tried to argue that the reason Schilling was Not approved was that the council didn’t support the project.

          Craig countered and I largely agreed that the backdrop to that was Measure R and concerns about the project passing a vote.  Council as a whole supported MRIC, they were worried that it would pass a Measure R vote.

          I have no idea what point you were trying to add here.  Please explain.  Thanks.

        3. Ron Oertel

          “The “backdrop” to this debate is your assertion that the city is somehow at “fault” (for not enabling a company obtains revenue from the oil and gas industry) to remain in Davis, as they pursued expansion plans.”

          “When in reality, the MRIC developers and Schilling were provided with ample opportunity to do just that.”

          It appears that the “viability” of that opportunity didn’t work out, for the developers and Schilling. This is not surprising, given that there are communities like West Sacramento which likely offer much better lease terms.

          Again, the developers are the ones that pulled the plug on the MRIC proposal. Not the city.

        4. Ron Oertel

          To further clarify (as if it’s needed), the MRIC developers had approval to pursue an entirely commercial development, as originally planned.  They withdrew their proposal.

          I don’t recall the date of the meeting, in which the council provided approval for that original proposal (to proceed toward a Measure R vote).  But as noted in the citation that Rik provided, it appears that the developers withdrew their proposal in April, 2016.

          I’m sure that you already understand all of this, so it seems that you’re attempting to cloud the actual history. As they say, if you can’t even agree on basic facts, . . .

        5. Rik Keller

          This press release dated April 14, 2016, indicates that the project was withdrawn because it was not financially feasible. Why is the Vanguard not providing this historical context?

          https://www.cityofdavis.org/Home/Components/News/News/1467/

          A study prepared by Economic & Planning Systems, Inc. and reviewed at the Monday, April 11, Finance & Budget Commission meeting concludes that the project might not be feasible given that only 128 acres or 60 percent of the site are considered developable and that infrastructure costs are high. The estimated infrastructure costs of more than $50 million are four times the industry standard for similar projects, according to the project sponsors.

          And from another article at that time: “Unlike other innovation centers, which estimate an internal rate of return of about 12 percent to 20 percent in profits, the MRIC project does not seem to show the same return.  Economic & Planning Systems, Inc. (EPS) released a report that questioned the economic feasibility of the project, claiming that the center would produce a mere 5 percent return for the developers.”

          Details in the full City staff report dated April 11, 2016, are even more damning:

          “These results indicate that the financial feasibility of the project is marginal although the applicant may be able to offer a different perspective on these results. EPS has identified several possible opportunities to reduce or redistribute costs including:…

          …Each of these involves significant policy considerations for the City. The suggestions for consideration noted by EPS above have not been vetted by staff. Moreover this result suggests that considerations of additional community enhancements, development agreement negotiations, and future tax sharing discussions will be more challenging than previously thought. The results suggest that discussion between the city and the developer should take place to further explore project economic viability and that it may be necessary for the City and developer to collaborate on ideas going forward to optimize the design of the project as needed to improve feasibility.”

          And then the developer bailed 3 days later. Apparently weren’t  “able to offer a different perspective on these results.”

          1. Don Shor

            Re:

            This press release dated April 14, 2016, indicates that the project was withdrawn because it was not financially feasible. Why is the Vanguard not providing this historical context?

            I think this was an odd little detour of a smaller project. Not the current iteration or the first one.

            The updated project would seek annexation of the entire 228 acres, including the Mace Triangle and the MRIC project site, but “now seeks approval of innovation center uses on only the southern 102 acres. The northern half of the property, including the City’s 25 acres, is requested to be brought into the City with an urban reserve land use designation and will be subject to a future planning effort and subsequent Measure R vote before any development may occur.”

            https://www.davisvanguard.org/2016/06/november-vote-sought-scaled-mric-project/

        6. Craig Ross

          Yes the 2016 version was scaled down – again Rik doesn’t know what he’s talking about -https://www.davisvanguard.org/2016/06/november-vote-sought-scaled-mric-project/

        7. Rik Keller

          Don Shor states:

          “I think this was an odd little detour of a smaller project. Not the current iteration or the first one”

          I guess you missed that in the very first quote that I posted on the topic at 9:28AM from the Davis Enterprise

          “Developers of the proposed Mace Ranch Innovation Center officially withdrew their request Thursday morning to bring a 102-acre, scaled-down version…” [June 17, 2016]

          And…

          This isn’t the first time the Mace proposal has been put on hold. Developers pressed “pause” on the project in April after the council declined to allow developers to move forward with a version of the project that included 850 units for workforce housing.

          The Vanguard used to know what had happened. But now it seems to have forgotten:

          The applicants introduced a project that was commercial-only.  They then added an equal weight mixed-use alternative.  In February 2016, the applicants asked the city to only evaluate the mixed-use alternative, but the council rejected that proposal which once again made the commercial-only alternative the one under consideration.

          In June of last year [2016], the applicants came back with a reduced-size proposal – again council suggested they could evaluate it, but before they could weigh in on it, the applicants pulled the project and put it on pause. [5/27/2017]

          The broader context for all of this, of course, is that the project was not financially feasible. Especially without adding the housing in.

        8. Alan Miller

           

          Aren’t they having EPS evaluate the project again?  So isn’t your point moot?

          yes, Everyone who Pays Sees the results they want, will be doing a study again.

      2. Rik Keller

        “The whole backdrop to this debate has been whether MRIC was viable with housing – by viable, it could pass a Measure R vote. That was the whole consideration. Those were the concerns council had. Rik completely misunderstood the context of what he was posting.”

        Nope. I understand the context. And I am actually providing the context, unlike multiple articles on the Vanguard about the subject that either ignore or provide inaccurate history.

        Even the comment now by the article’s author is misleading and incomplete.

         

        1. Rik Keller

          Ron O.: at one point, the Vanguard stated the following “In June of last year [2016], the applicants came back with a reduced-size proposal – again council suggested they could evaluate it, but before they could weigh in on it, the applicants pulled the project and put it on pause.”

          I guess the Vanguard forgot about that. Or it has a reason now to muddy the waters.

        2. Craig Ross

          What that quote doesn’t tell you is why it was pulled.  The reason it was pulled was because the council did not believe it would pass a Measure R vote.  You’re using quotes that you were not involved in and taking it out of context.

        3. Ron Oertel

          In fact, on 2/23/16 (as noted below), the developers attempted to change the proposal, to include housing.  This attempt was denied, by the council.  Two months later, the developers withdrew their proposal.

          Here’s what happened on 2/23/16:

          R. Davis moved, seconded by R. Swanson, to direct staff to continue with preparation of a project action package for the project as proposed only.  (Note that this refers to an entirely commercial development.)

          B. Lee proposed a friendly amendment:  Direct staff not to consider a mixed use alternative.  Not accepted by mover.

          Motion passed unanimously.

          http://documents.cityofdavis.org/Media/Default/Documents/PDF/CityCouncil/CouncilMeetings/Minutes/2016/Minutes-2016-02-23-City-Council-Meeting.pdf

        4. Ron Oertel

          So just to clarify, the following quote is false:

          Craig: “The reason it was pulled was because the council did not believe it would pass a Measure R vote.”

          In fact, the council directed staff to proceed with the original proposal, as noted above. The developers withdrew their proposal, two months later.

  5. Jim Frame

    continuing to press for the cretics toon of an EIR

    One can only wonder what autocorrect believes a cretic toon to be.  (But I assume the writer’s intent was “certification.”)

  6. Rik Keller

    The Studio 30 report was a 2012 UC Davis Extension project for grad and undergraduate students. It never received a public vetting or reality check.

    This article quotes the Executive Summary of the report as saying:

     “With available reasonably priced land and effective marketing to innovative high tech companies, Studio 30 estimates Davis could absorb up to 10 percent or around 100,000 square feet of the 1-1.5 million industrial/office square footage absorbed annually in the Sacramento region. Because of this Studio 30 estimates Davis needs at least 200 acres for business development and expansion over a 20 +/- year time horizon.”

    That statement is notable for having no supporting evidence in the report. The information in the main body of the report from which this is derived does not provide any further information that that describes how such an assumption is warranted. And, in fact, the language used in the main body of the report states that “Studio 30 believes…” that got modified to the “Studio 30 estimates” in the Executive Summary quoted.

    Because of this, it appears that Studio 30 just tacked on this unsupported belief in order to try to justify their conclusions. There is not any information provided about how Studio 30 arrived at its “belief” of a reasonable share that Davis could expect to capture of regional industrial/office space absorption. It is just pure pie-in-the sky-conjecture.

    The following is a bit of a reality check about what it would mean if Davis were to actually absorb 10% of SACOG projected regional employment, population, and housing growth in the next couple of decades, Based on data in the Draft SACOG 2020 MTP/SCS Preferred Scenario, total SACOG region growth from 2016-2035 is projected at 526,780 population, 218,260 jobs, and 223,520 housing units. If Davis “absorbed” 10% of that growth, it would mean an increase in the next two decades of 52,700 new population, 21,800 new jobs, and 22,300 new housing units in Davis.

    However, the SACOG Preferred Scenario actually shows Davis with the following growth from 2016 to 2035: 1,310 jobs and 3,000 housing units (with a population increase of around 7,100 at the regional average of 2.36 persons/household). Davis’ share of the regional growth is thus: 0.6% of jobs and 1.3% of housing units. At ~17 times the SACOG projection for Davis’ share of total job growth, that 10% absorption rate ‘belief” by Studio 30 does not seem remotely justified.

    As far as land needs for those SACOG-projected 1,310 new jobs in Davis in the next two decades? At highly conservative assumptions of 300 sf of floor area per job and a FAR of 0.35, it’s a total of about 26 acres needed for total job growth, or 7-8 times less than the Studio 30 “belief.”

    I could go on about other highly problematic issues with the Studio 30 report, but that’s a comment for another time. As a sample though: The information contained in “Appendix B: In-depth Case Studies” is laughable. Reading in between the lines and the rosy, optimistic picture that they try to paint, one can glean some glimpses of reality though. For example, buried in the description of the University of Illinois Research and Innovation Park in Champaign-Urbana, one can piece together that in the 10 years of the business park’s existence from 2001 to 2011, only about 25% of the 200-acre site had been filled, at a rate of only 60,000sf of floor area and 120 jobs per year. And this is despite the University of Illinois subsidizing almost 40% of the total development costs of the business park.

    Since the Studio 30 report was written in 2012 though, it looks like the development pace at the University of Illinois Research and Innovation Park has slowed even further. The project website shows 11 buildings, and states that “There are eleven multi-tenant buildings in the Research Park with commercial office space available for lease,” while the Studio 30 report stated that the project had 12 buildings in 2011.

    This shows the importance of a full review and vetting of supporting documents for development proposals, and the value of a healthy skepticism of that material. The reality does indeed need to “hit home” for these pie-in-the-sky fantasies that are pushed.

    1. Rik Keller

      The very final pages of the Studio 30 report discuss the Innovista Research Park in Columbia South Carolina. The Studio 30 report does mention that

      ” The project has been delayed due to a lack of funding; so far, only half of what was originally planned has been built.”

      And it states

      “The community has been very supportive of the project because of its potential to create and bring in more jobs. Innovista itself has not created any jobs…”

      and

      “Innovista was supposed to offer a place for recently graduated students, who were starting their own company to reside, but rent was too high and none of the recently graduated students ended up signing with Innovista.”

      But then the Studio 30 report just abruptly ends and draws no lessons from this debacle and others like it that could apply to Davis.

      Several years later, the picture was not better for Innovista. As discussed in one article in 2015,

      “…University of South Carolina’s Innovista,a research park designed to mimic NC State’s Centennial Campus. Roughly $100 million has been funneled from the Palmetto State’s coffers to a planned research cluster in Columbia aimed at exploiting patents, creating new businesses, and luring tech firms. After a decade, though, private sector participation has not materialized and the project is seen by many observers as a waste.”

      Another article for 2013 states

      “…as the spectacularly failed Innovista (a.k.a. “Inept-O-Vista”) boondoggle demonstrates.  The brainchild of S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harell and University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides,  Innovista has already cost taxpayers at least $150 million (including over $40 million in state funds). The project was supposed to usher in the “hydrogen economy of the future” and bring “thousands of high-paying jobs” to downtown Columbia, S.C., but it has failed spectacularly on all counts.

      Amazingly, this “research campus” is still being funded by state and local taxpayers to the tune of millions of dollars a year – and that’s just its direct appropriations. The facility also recently received a $154 million bailout from Columbia, S.C. taxpayers – and will get $50 million from a Richland County sales tax hike…”

      The experience of these business/research parks associated with University of Illinois and University of South Carolina is par for the course for the vast majority of these developments: pie-in-the-sky promises by developers that are never fulfilled. Some these project include massive subsidies and lease rate reductions, and even then the market demand does not materialize. It is little wonder that the MRIC/ARC developers withdrew their earlier application due to lack of market demand, and that they include hotel and residential uses in this proposal as a way to try make the project financially feasible for them.

       

       

      1. Don Shor

        You keep citing all these negatives about research parks and innovation centers.
        This is not one of those. ARC is privately funded. It has no direct connection to UCD. It makes no use of taxpayer funds or university funding. It’s just a commercial development by private investors.

        Some these project include massive subsidies and lease rate reductions, and even then the market demand does not materialize.

        There are no subsidies. There are no lease rate reductions, and if there were any they would not matter to you, me, or anyone else other than the private developers, if they happen to choose to do that.
        I have yet to read one of your links that bears any relevance to MRIC/ARC.
        I assume you are not saying that all business parks that are privately developed fail.
        If you are suggesting that the marketing as a research-related innovation center is perhaps overstated, I won’t quarrel with that assessment. Nor does it matter. It’s a private business park that will generate revenues for the city by providing sites for commercial, hotel, and retail uses. And apparently some housing, which urban planners seem to think is fashionable nowadays.
        In sum: no taxpayer funds, no university funds, no risk to the public at all. Just a private development proposal.

        1. Rik Keller

          Don Shor: you keep on completely missing the point. I am not saying that MRIC has public subsidies. The point is that business parks, whether subsidized or not, have a long history of vastly underperforming their promised projections. And the point is that decades of research shows they don’t create any new value: they simply shift the location where business would have developed before (if there was a demand in the first place). There isn’t “synergy”. There is no magic pixie dust.

          And as it turns out though, this MRIC proposal does have (non-public) subsidies attached: the hotel and residential uses are directly subsidizing the business park uses to try to make it financially feasible for the developer. And even then the projected lease rate in the earlier draft fiscal analysis by EPS showed rates far above regional averages.

          All of this shows the lack of demand for these business park uses. And it shows that we should approach these promises with a highly skeptical eye. The promised fiscal benefits are not likely to be anywhere near the promised amounts, and a realistic projection of these combined with a full accounting of fiscal and other negatives would likely show not a break-even for the City

          Your idea that there is “no risk” to the project is based on many faulty assumptions: among these are that the current land use has no value at all, that the City won’t be left holding the bag on infrastructure improvements when the project doesn’t deliver as promised, and that we won’t be asked to approve dramatic changes to project characteristics (such as a shift to even more residential) in order to “protect our investment”.

          Let’s look at the long-established policy perspective of the City of Davis as stated in our General Plan, Measure R, and numerous other documents. Since you don’t live in the city, maybe you need to be reminded of it: https://www.cityofdavis.org/city-hall/community-development-and-sustainability/open-space-program/policy-framework

          The following are the first three findings in Measure R. These are some of the values that we are actually in risk of losing if we go the route you are suggesting of making low-odds wagers and believing charlatans:

          (1)    The protection of existing agricultural and open space lands, natural habitats and reserves surrounding the City of Davis, and within the Davis planning area, is of critical importance to the present and future residents of the City of Davis. Agriculture has been and remains a major contributor to the local and regional economy, directly and indirectly creating employment for many people, and providing valuable food crops distributed worldwide.

           

          (2)    Continued urban encroachment into agricultural and open space lands, natural habitats and reserves impairs agriculture and threatens the public health, safety, and welfare by causing increased traffic congestion, associated air pollution, and potential adverse impacts to the quantity and quality of available water resources. Continued urban encroachment into agricultural lands also requires significant new public infrastructure and facilities and places additional stresses on existing public infrastructure and facilities.

           

          (3) The unique character of the City of Davis and the quality of life enjoyed by city residents depend on the protection of agricultural, open space lands, and natural habitats and reserves on its periphery. The protection of such lands aids the continued viability of agriculture, defines urban/rural boundary, and brings mental and physical benefits from the broad vistas at the urban edge onto open space and agricultural lands. It also contributes to the protection of wildlife including rare, endangered, or threatened species, environmentally sensitive areas, and  and irreplaceable natural resources.

          1. Don Shor

            Don Shor: you keep on completely missing the point.

            I was responding directly to the material you post.
            You repeatedly cite examples of public-private partnerships and cite research indicating they don’t work.

            I am not saying that MRIC has public subsidies.

            Your examples do. Why did you use them? What’s the success rate of private business parks?

            The point is that business parks, whether subsidized or not, have a long history of vastly underperforming their promised projections.

            Their projected rate of income to the city is not zero. I don’t particularly care if the numbers are optimistic. I assume you will continue to leaven that with your analyses, and others can vet their numbers and yours for accuracy.

            And the point is that decades of research shows they don’t create any new value: they simply shift the location where business would have developed before (if there was a demand in the first place). There isn’t “synergy”. There is no magic pixie dust.

            The point you are missing is that businesses are leaving Davis because they have no space here to grow into.

            And as it turns out though, this MRIC proposal does have (non-public) subsidies attached: the hotel and residential uses are directly subsidizing the business park uses to try to make it financially feasible for the developer. And even then the projected lease rate in the earlier draft fiscal analysis by EPS showed rates far above regional averages.

            Those aren’t “subsidies” by any normally accepted usage of the term.

            All of this shows the lack of demand for these business park uses. And it shows that we should approach these promises with a highly skeptical eye. The promised fiscal benefits are not likely to be anywhere near the promised amounts, and a realistic projection of these combined with a full accounting of fiscal and other negatives would likely show not a break-even for the City

            “would likely show not a break-even for the City”
            That is not a credible statement, but I’ll await your actual fiscal analysis.

            Your idea that there is “no risk” to the project is based on many faulty assumptions: among these are that the current land use has no value at all,

            The current land use has no value to the city.

            that the City won’t be left holding the bag on infrastructure improvements when the project doesn’t deliver as promised,

            Are there any instances locally where that has ever happened? This is an honest question for anyone reading. I’m not aware of any abandoned business parks along the I-80 corridor or in this region. I could be wrong, but it sure seems like a very remote possibility.

            and that we won’t be asked to approve dramatic changes to project characteristics (such as a shift to even more residential) in order to “protect our investment”.

            That’s always a possibility. “Asked to approve” is obviously not the same thing as “will approve,” as the owners of The Cannery can attest.

            Let’s look at the long-established policy perspective of the City of Davis as stated in our General Plan, Measure R, and numerous other documents.

            No need. I’ve read them. I’ve been debating these issues here for a long time.

            Since you don’t live in the city, maybe you need to be reminded of

            This is the kind of gratuitous comment that is really unnecessary, Rik. I don’t think I need to provide my bona fides for discussing land use and growth issues.
            I am very familiar with Measure R, with the open space tax, and with the ag buffer that Davis has been developing for many years now.
            I spent a great deal of time on this blog about six years ago arguing on behalf of the conservation easement for the Mace 391 property to the north of this Ramos/Bruner site. Since that is now conserved in perpetuity, I considered then and now that developing this 200-acre freeway-adjacent site was a reasonable compromise as it would help the city’s finances and provide sites for some ag/tech/UC-related or locally-owned businesses to locate or relocate to. If that conservation agreement were not in place, I would not support this project.

        2. Rik Keller

          Don Shor: since you have gone on and on  about previous studies done by/for the City in the “economic development” category–including the Studio 30 report–why all of a sudden are you against learning lessons from a couple of the projects that the Studio 30 report specifically chose used as case studies to apply to Davis. Are you saying that these projects somehow don’t “bear any relevance to MRIC/ARC”?

          We should take the lessons from Champaign Urbana, IL and Columbia, SC as warning to us about the viability of this proposal and it ability to deliver on its promises.

        3. Rik Keller

          Don Shor: in the face of overwhelming evidence that –as shown by failures all across the country and decades of academic analysis all pointing to the same answer–business parks are a boondoggle, and even in the face of the fact that the earlier MRIC proposal was not financially feasible/viable, you still persist in trying to dodge the issue while never providing any studies that show the contrary. You clearly have no desire to engage in evidence-based public policy debate. But I guess you have to stay busy: that snake oil won’t sell itself.

           

           

          1. Don Shor

            in the face of overwhelming evidence that –as shown by failures all across the country and decades of academic analysis all pointing to the same answer–business parks are a boondoggle, and even in the face of the fact that the earlier MRIC proposal was not financially feasible/viable, you still persist in trying to dodge the issue while never providing any studies that show the contrary. You clearly have no desire to engage in evidence-based public policy debate.

            Just to be perfectly clear: you are asserting the the business park proposed for this site will fail, and that the city will end up absorbing all the costs of the infrastructure?

            But I guess you have to stay busy: that snake oil won’t sell itself.

            Skip the gratuitous comments, Rik.

        4. Rik Keller

          Don Shor: Would you care to read the economic/market demand analysis I did circa 1998 for this for this colossal multiple-time failure of a project on? It called into question the economic assumptions and demand projections that the developers put forth which were the usual pie-in-the-sky, field-of-schemes cheerleading.

          Would you care to report back to us who ended up footing the bill for all of the infrastructure improvements that were put into place and were going to be paid back with project tax revenues?

          https://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2019/01/15/elk-grove-ghost-mall-to-be-demolished.html

           

          1. Don Shor

            Would you care to read the economic/market demand analysis I did circa 1998 for this for this colossal multiple-time failure of a project on? It called into question the economic assumptions and demand projections that the developers put forth which were the usual pie-in-the-sky, field-of-schemes cheerleading.

            No, I would prefer to read your economic/market demand analysis for this project, and compare it to what the city staff puts forth from the experts that are being hired to do that type of analysis. Then we can discuss any discrepancies between their analysis and yours.

  7. Rik Keller

    It’s been know for a long time that the promises of business parks are a boondoggle. This except from one such study describes why the dynamic is such that developers try to keep pulling the wool over the eyes of gullible politicians [from JOINT CENTER  AEI-BROOKINGS JOINT CENTER FOR REGULATORY STUDIES, “Do Science Parks Generate Regional Economic Growth? An Empirical Analysis of their Effects on Job Growth and Venture Capital”]:
    “A possible explanation for the few examples of “science park-led local economic development” (Felsenstein 1994), is that, as Jowitt (1991) observes, research parks are often just a political quick fix to industrial decline. Indeed, policy makers in regions experiencing economic downturns (either absolutely or relative to other regions) are likely to face pressure to generate economic development. A science park may be a politically attractive option since it can be constructed relatively quickly, generating at least an appearance of economic development activity. It can further generate an appearance of success when firms move into the park. Cities and research park organizations routinely count as “success” any firms or employment in the park, with no regard to whether that economic activity was new to the region or simply relocated into the park, and no analysis of whether that activity would have been likely to occur without the park. Moreover, as noted above, the costs of the park (many of which might be hidden, such as the opportunity cost of the land) are rarely calculated. In other words, cost- benefit analyses of research parks are likely to count as benefits any economic activity in the park regardless of whether it is, in fact, a net benefit, and ignore the costs altogether….

    …Most research finds little, if any, real effects of research parks. Felsenstein (1994) finds little evidence that firms in science parks engage in more research, have stronger linkages to universities, or witness greater transfers between other local firms than do firms not located in science parks. Indeed, he concludes that the evidence suggests “parks may function as ‘islands’ of innovation or as collections of firms with no real links between them.” Braun and McHone (1992) note a lack of linkages between firms in science parks and local economic actors outside the park. Spillovers to the larger region are probably less likely without such linkages…”
     
    And finally, the kicker: “this analysis suggests that establishing a research park tends to have no net impact on job growth, the number of firms, or on the amount of venture capital attracted to the county. That is, while there are successful research parks, they seem to be the exception rather than the rule.”

    1. Bill Marshall

      Nice thing about “cut and paste” and keeping track of previous posts… you can post them, again, and again, and again… etc., etc., etc., … some folk are better at that than others…

      https://www.google.com/search?q=brookings+institute&oq=brookings+institute&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.10101j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

      No bias there… (except “taxpayers advocates” just like Jarvis, Gann, Coupal… completely scholarly… complete, irrefutable truth) can/should be trusted without question… Rik nailed it.

      A very “progressive” source.

       

       

      1. Alan Miller

        Nice thing about “cut and paste” and keeping track of previous posts… you can post them, again, and again, and again… etc., etc., etc., … some folk are better at that than others…

        You can do the same with blog articles.  Just sayin’

  8. Todd Edelman

    Please – with respect – tell me what I am missing. If the parking lots surrounding the facilities of Schilling and its neighbors were used for their various primary activities instead of providing “free parking”, they’d have twice as much space. 

    Parking at first level of new buildings? Company shuttle from Davis Depot? Parking at Target with a short bike ride or shuttle? What am I missing?

    1. Rik Keller

      Todd: If you <like> that, you’re gonna <love> ARC! It’s got the worst of both worlds: a massive number of parking spaces (almost 4,500) that are also simultaneously not nearly enough for the planned uses because–despite their peripheral, highway-oriented location–they are waving a magic wand of unspecified TDM measures and hoping someone else solves the problem.

      1. Todd Edelman

        I’m with you on the ARC is Unredeemable Crap Committee, but it’s difficult because I’m psychospiritually-inclined to create left-field – i.e. sensible – mitigation solutions for everything, including for ARC. It’s like I’m a prisoner and being forced to build the Death Star. What can be built into ARC that will make it vulnerable to an attack by X-Wing bicycles?

        1. Ron Oertel

          “What can be built into ARC that will make it vulnerable to an attack by X-Wing bicycles?”

          How about (*gasp*) just leaving it as prime farmland, outside city limits? Is that causing “harm” to anyone?

  9. Ron Glick

    “…as Jowitt (1991) observes, research parks are often just a political quick fix to industrial decline. Indeed, policy makers in regions experiencing economic downturns (either absolutely or relative to other regions) are likely to face pressure to generate economic development.”

    That isn’t a good description of Davis or this region because we are not in industrial decline. We have a growing economy with some of the best intellectual capital in the world particularly in the biological sciences. Look at UCD going to Sacto for the third campus. Look at the World Food Center. Look at all the companies that want to be in this region; Bayer, Genentech, Novozymes, Mars, Johnson and Johnson, Syngenta, Corteva (formerly Dupont Pioneer) just to name some of the biggest.

    The sad part is that Davis as the host to UCD is like a spoiled child holding its breath until it turns blue instead of figuring out how to maximize the economic benefits to be gleaned from our proximity to the future of the biotech revolution happening all around us.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Your comments seem particularly ironic, given that the article itself moans about the relocation of Schilling, a company that relies upon revenues from the oil and gas industry.

      “Biotech revolution”, my arse! (Does that include GMO’s, by the way?)

    2. Ron Oertel

      Thought I’d pick out one of the companies that both Ron G. and David Greenwald have touted:

      Mars Inc., the global maker of Snickers bars, M&Ms and dozens of other food products, will open a new research facility in downtown Davis to develop better strains of cacao.

      Now, there’s a pressing worldwide problem.

      The facility will be at 430 G St., in a building that also houses offices for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the city of Davis announced Monday.

      https://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2019/03/19/mars-inc-collaborates-with-uc-davis-on-new.html#i/11253129

      This would be the same building that has a gigantic “for lease” sign outside.

      We can probably go through each of Ron G.’s citations (which closely match David’s previous citations), to see exactly what’s being touted. Then again, these are companies that have ALREADY found a home in Davis, regardless. (At least, the ones that David previously listed.)

    3. Ron Glick

      Of course you miss the point that Rik’s reference doesn’t apply because we are not an area in decline and then take a gratuitous shot at Schilling, a tech company that is as cutting edge as they come, making subsea robots that employ state of the art technologies in a whole range of areas.

      I get that you want to disparage anything that provides any kind of opportunity for others but I think there might be some overlap with David’s list but only because I chose the biggest companies off the top of my head. Here is a link to the other end of the spectrum, start ups, spinning out of UCD:

      https://itc.ucdavis.edu/startups/startup-companies/

    4. Richard McCann

      Yes, Ron G, I concur with your assessment. I previously mentioned that so many parks are “Hail Mary” attempts to reverse the regional economic declines. Rik hasn’t put forward studies that ask if the trajectory of growth in those regions changed–did they decline less rapidly? And you are right that we have the opposite problem–we have opportunities passing us by because we don’t have the space to land them.

      1. Rik Keller

        Ron G. and McCann both miss the mark here. Just because you cherry-pick a statement that areas with a declining industrial base have politicians who particularly susceptible to the snake oil dealers, doesn’t mean that there is data showing positive contributions of research parks to economic development efforts in better-off areas. To the contrary, both that reference that I cited here and Levine’s work that subsequently spandex upon it looked at the wide range of research parks across the U.S.

        And if you’d actually read the studies, rather than pontificating from an uninformed stance, you would have found that data from the industry arm itself—the Association  Of University Research Parks— shows how dismal their performance has been overall. based on numerous metrics.

  10. Ron Oertel

    Bill:  “Nice thing about “cut and paste” and keeping track of previous posts… you can post them, again, and again, and again… etc., etc., etc., … some folk are better at that than others…”

    Yes – David is an expert. Hence, your observation that the responses to these articles are similar. Probably drawing the same type of remarks from you (and others), as well.

    “My View” – same as “Last View” – same as “Tomorrow’s View”, and the next day, and the next day . . .

    The entire process is not unlike “Pavlov’s dog”.

  11. Richard McCann

    Rik wrote: “And the point is that decades of research shows they don’t create any new value: they simply shift the location where business would have developed before (if there was a demand in the first place). There isn’t “synergy”. There is no magic pixie dust.”

    Apparently all economic growth is a figment of our imagination, and industries do not grow more rapidly in places where like firms agglomerate. All of this is fiction because the economy is just a zero-sum situation where our growth must take away from growth elsewhere. And of course that’s hogwash.

    The rise of New York, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Seattle and Silicon Valley all belie your statement. They all leveraged their synergies in finance, steel, autos, aerospace and computers to turn into the economic powerhouses of their eras. Places like Champagne and Columbia don’t have the factors that such as geography or a trained workforce to create those synergies. (I’m surprised the Illinois park is doing as well as it is.) If you’ve been listening, Davis is well situated to use its location and workforce to leverage its unique synergies.

    Bring us studies that look at parks that have failed where they have these factors going for them.

    I’ll make a more important point though: even if that growth would happen elsewhere, we are much more likely to make that growth environmentally and socially sustainable. The developments will be subject to much more scrutiny than if they go to Elk Grove or Roseville. We can decide that we will turn a blind eye to what’s happening in the rest of world to just protect our own self interests, or we can show the world what we have to offer.

    1. Ron Oertel

      “Bring us studies that look at parks that have failed where they have these factors going for them.”

      You need look no further than MRIC, which was withdrawn because it apparently wasn’t financially viable without the profit generated by housing.

        1. Ron Oertel

          I saw some mention of the “changing size” in the comments or in an article.

          Perhaps this could be explained, regarding how it happened, and how it “re-expanded” (and/or shrunk again, since it no longer includes the city-owned 25-acre site).

          And, if it has indeed “re-expanded”, then that wouldn’t explain why housing is now needed to make it financially viable.

          Note that on 2/23/16, the council directed staff to proceed as “proposed” only, and that Brett Lee put forward a “friendly amendment” to preclude housing (as noted in an earlier comment, above). What size was that one?

          Exactly how many proposals have been put forth, and what are their sizes?

          1. David Greenwald

            This is has all been explained on here before but here goes a brief summary.

            The original RFEI asked for projects to come in with no housing. MRIC submitted their proposal. But in the process of studying their project their realized quickly that the superior project had housing – both fiscally and environmentally. They had a mixed use alternative in the EIR which was also found to be superior.

            However, council was opposed to the housing – mostly for political considerations but probably Brett Lee was opposed to the housing in general (although he may not at this point).

            THere were concerns with finances, costs, and viability that caused the project to be paused. They then came back to get the EIR, which was already completed at a huge cost to be certified. They then proposed a scaled down project as the quickest way forward – but that proved to be unviable. Having determined that in 2016, they pulled the project again.

            Now it’s 2019 – things have changed.

            Housing is no longer considered the death-knell for projects. Council seems more amenable to project with housing. Community does as well. So they have come with a new project.

        2. Ron Oertel

          By the way, it’s now more “clear” to me regarding the reason that they wanted the EIR to be certified – apparently regardless of size, configuration, the inclusion (or exclusion of housing), or whether or not there’s a landing strip for the glider!  😉

          It’s called “covering your bases”. But, I suspect that it will lead to more, not fewer challenges.

          By the way, did all of the possible configurations include 4,340 parking spaces?

          In all honesty, I think they’ve got their work cut-out for them. If I was in that position, I’d be praying for an extremely favorable fiscal analysis, with others making glowing promises regarding how that money would be used. And hoping that Rik doesn’t read it.

  12. Ron Oertel

    David:  “The original RFEI asked for projects to come in with no housing. MRIC submitted their proposal. But in the process of studying their project their realized quickly that the superior project had housing – both fiscally and environmentally.”

    To clarify, I believe that you mean it was superior “financially”, for the developers.  Not “fiscally”, as that term refers to government (city) revenue.  In fact, it appears that it is better financially for the developers, but worse (fiscally) – for the city.

    David:  “However, council was opposed to the housing – mostly for political considerations but probably Brett Lee was opposed to the housing in general (although he may not at this point).”

    “There were concerns with finances, costs, and viability that caused the project to be paused.”

    Yes – they withdrew their original proposal, apparently because they realized that it either wasn’t viable financially, or that they could make more money with housing.  Again, going back to the point that MRIC is an example of a “failure” of viability.

    David:  “They then came back to get the EIR, which was already completed at a huge cost to be certified. They then proposed a scaled down project as the quickest way forward – but that proved to be unviable. Having determined that in 2016, they pulled the project again.”

    Yet another failure.  (This one being the “reduced-size” alternative.)  If I’m not mistaken, the developers wanted to build a commercial component on a portion of the site, leaving the rest of the site to be decided “later” (read “housing” on the remainder, most likely).

    David:  “Now it’s 2019 – things have changed.”

    “Housing is no longer considered the death-knell for projects. Council seems more amenable to project with housing. Community does as well. So they have come with a new project.”

    Well, that’s certainly what they’re hoping for, perhaps with help from students who were reportedly being paid by development interests. (Despite the lack of student-intended housing at this proposal.)  But again, the proposal doesn’t seem financially viable, without housing.  Or at least, the developers have determined that they can make more money that way.

    The “reasons” for including housing keep changing.  Started out with “that’s what employers are telling us they want”, then changing (above) to the “project was too small” (which is neither accurate, nor relevant regarding the reason it was withdrawn after the council reaffirmed its decision to pursue the original goal, in 2016).

    In fact, you’re conforming that the developers withdrew their proposal twice – once as a full-sized commercial proposal, and once as a reduced-sized commercial proposal.  Two failures for one proposal.

    It’s pretty obvious that the developers are unwilling (or unable) to come forward with an all-commercial proposal, which would be better (fiscally) for the city.  This is also the reason that the city was interested in innovation centers in the first place.

    You’ve repeatedly claimed that the city has a shortage of commercial space, and yet this proposal reduces and/or compromises the amount that would otherwise be available for that activity.  In addition, it simply extends the “imbalance” of too much housing, vs. too little commercial within the existing city, which you’ve already cited as a problem regarding the commercial space “shortage”.  (Which again, goes back to the original reason for these proposals.)

    In any case, MRIC is clearly an example of a “failure” of an innovation center proposal, in response to Richard’s comment above.  It was not viable (or at least not “desirable” – from the point of view of developers), and had nothing to do with “size” – as you claimed above.

    Other examples of failures of innovation centers include the Davis Innovation Center proposal (which has since moved to Woodland  – and even there apparently isn’t viable without housing).  Along with Nishi (although we can dispute the reasons why the developers decided to drop the commercial component altogether), and the Cannery – where the owners apparently weren’t even willing to consider an innovation center.  In any case, those two “morphed” entirely into housing projects, as usual.

    1. Craig Ross

      I think one thing that you are seeing is that the rationale for these types of projects is actually pretty complex.

      If you look at MRIC, there were a lot of problems from the start: (1) it is not a unitary owner but rather several different property owners.  (2) Conflicting signals from council.  (3) Changing political landscape.  (4). Uncertainty.

      I want you to forget about your views on housing for a second and consider this.  Is there actually a good reason not to do housing?

      1. Housing is in short supply in the city and region, especially the type of housing needed here

      2. Housing reduces GHG impacts

      3.  Housing improves the financing

      4.  Housing improves the multiplier effect by keeping economic benefits local and encouraging people to spend their money locally.

      5.  Housing is an increasingly necessary component for companies to move to a given location given the housing crisis statewide.  Talk to people in this business and they will tell you, they worry about attracting quality employees to work at their business.  That goes double in a place like Davis where housing is in short supply.

      So why would you not want housing?  The only reason I have come up with is that you don’t want additional housing.  Other than that, I don’t see a valid point.

       

      1. Ron Oertel

        Craig to me:  “So why would you not want housing?  The only reason I have come up with is that you don’t want additional housing.  Other than that, I don’t see a valid point.”

        Me to David, regarding the modification of the proposal to include housing: 

        “To clarify, I believe that you mean it was superior “financially”, for the developers. Not “fiscally”, as that term refers to government (city) revenue. In fact, it appears that it is better financially for the developers, but worse (fiscally) – for the city.”

        “You’ve repeatedly claimed that the city has a shortage of commercial space, and yet this proposal reduces and/or compromises the amount that would otherwise be available for that activity.  In addition, it simply extends the “imbalance” of too much housing, vs. too little commercial within the existing city, which you’ve already cited as a problem regarding the commercial space “shortage”.  (Which again, goes back to the original reason for these proposals.)”

        At this point, I prefer the true “environmentally superior” alternative – leaving it as prime farmland, outside city limits.

        1. Craig Ross

          It would definitely save us time if you stated you were against everything.

          However, I do reject your claim that leaving the site as agricultural land is the environmentally superior alternative.  You haven’t done that analysis.

          Considerations:

          1. The agricultural discharge of the activities on that field

          2. The alternative locations and types of development – if not here, then somewhere

          3.  The lack of green technology and ag tech developed here as a result

          None of those are evaluated in your assertion that the agricultural field is the superior alternative.

        2. Ron Oertel

          Check the existing EIR, to see what it says regarding the “no project” alternative.

          Had the developers pursued a commercial project when they had a chance (in 2016), I probably wouldn’t have been involved any further, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation today.

          I repeatedly predicted this “bait and switch”, after the developers withdrew their proposal.

          You asked me a question (to which I had already provided a response to David).

        3. Craig Ross

          The EIR concludes that No Project alternative would have fewer impacts but fail to meet the project objectives.  HOWEVER, I would argue that the No Project alternative creates the illusion of few impacts, it simply transfers the impacts to another site.  And I would argue that Davis can do this project cleaner and less environmentally intrusively than other communities, moreover the push for green technology and ag tech was never explored in the EIR as a positive project impact.  Therefore your answer fails to address my point.

          Bottom line: you oppose the project.

        4. Ron Oertel

          “The EIR concludes that No Project alternative would have fewer impacts . . .”

          Well, you’re certainly free to challenge this conclusion in the EIR. I suspect that this alternative will have the fewest impacts in the upcoming/revised EIR, as well.

        5. Ron Oertel

          I have no interpretation that I’m offering here, other than what the EIR says regarding the “no project” alternative.

          You’ve added some of your own thoughts (“interpretation”), beyond that.  I’ve chosen (for the moment) to not engage those thoughts. We could go down that path I suppose, but I think it’s a waste of time and energy at this point.

          I saw your comments/thoughts, and suggest we just leave it at that for now.

  13. Ron Glick

    “Just because you cherry-pick a statement that areas with a declining industrial base have politicians who particularly susceptible to the snake oil dealers, doesn’t mean that there is data showing positive contributions of research parks to economic development efforts in better-off areas.”

    I admit it I’m a cherry picker but can you address my point that we are in ascension and not in decline so perhaps we should look at this using a different lens.

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