Commentary: The Changing Landscape of the Tech and the Pandemic

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By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – As we move out of the pandemic—eventually we will, I promise—toward another discussion on DISC, it might behoove the city and the applicants to take stock of the emerging environment with which we will operate.

The pandemic has brought lots of change—and while people are kind of itching to get back to life as normal, it will not be the same normal we had before.

We learned that we could operate a lot better in a remote environment than we ever realized.  At the same time, I think for a lot of businesses that have operated largely remotely over the last 20 months or so, we see both advantages and disadvantages to continuing, and therefore what you are likely to see are hybrid forms that take advantage of the strengths of each approach while trying to minimize the weaknesses.

Davis remains ideally positioned to take advantage of the new ecosystem—but to do that, it would have to get out of its own way on this.

A reader pointed me to an interesting article: “Remote Work Is Enabling a Silicon Valley Exodus.”  There are some interesting things that suggest to me that Davis might be poised to take advantage of the opportunity… if only it could.

They note the exodus away from San Francisco as the tech capital.  A big driver is not only the pandemic—but, you guessed it… housing.

“What I hear anecdotally from friends is that it’s pretty much a ghost town now,” said Max Wesman, founder and Chief Operating Officer of employment screening company GoodHire.

The article notes: “The tech exodus isn’t hard to understand. According to a recent Rocket Mortgage report, San Francisco is the most expensive real estate city in the country, with a median housing price of $1.3 million.”

Wesman said he knows people who have left, due primarily to “the cost of living and, in particular, the desire to buy a home and have a comfortable life to raise a family.”

That trend is accelerating.

So where are they going?

Of note for Davis: “Smaller tech hubs are cropping up, too. Wesman said he’d heard most often of Austin, Nashville and San Diego as other cities that are attracting tech workers away from the Bay Area, with regions in Arizona, Utah and North Carolina growing as well.”

And: “Another trend from Wesman’s perspective is tech workers moving outside Silicon Valley — but not too far.” He knows plenty of people who “haven’t necessarily moved out of state, but they’ve moved to lower-cost areas outside of Silicon Valley that are still within a driving distance.”

Where are they going: Marin County, Sonoma County, east of the Bay.

He said that “many people are relocating to areas where the housing market is a touch cooler but the office headquarters can still be accessed once or twice a week by a long, but manageable commute.”

This next part is the key: moving to hybrid.

“I think that there still is a perception that once COVID is behind us someday, there still will always be some element of an office or in-person meeting,” Wesman said.

The article notes: “While hybrid work will likely be the norm and most companies will probably shift to adopting smaller offices or co-working spaces, he believes certain traditional ways of seeing the workplace won’t die so easily.

“I think there is an implicit assumption that if you have more face time with senior management, your odds of moving up [in the company] improve, even if you’re spending a lot of time on Zoom calls,” he said.

As I said, there are actually advantages to both.  Zoom is great for getting people who are spread out geographically together.  But I know a lot of companies need that creative synergy—you can replicate some of it on Zoom, but it’s hard.

Plus, once you start talking things like wet labs and manufacturing, you still need space.

For a lot of reasons then, Davis would appear to be ideal for tech expansion.

It is near the university.  There is a huge potentially young and highly trained and educated workforce to tap into.

The students came back this year.  Despite some predictions that the pandemic would lead to more remote learning, the reality is that students learn better in person.  Plus, college isn’t just about the formal education, it is about the social and future professional networks that you develop.

Second, while we think of Davis as being expensive, by Bay Area standards it is not.

Third, there is a scarcity of housing in Davis proper.  There are two solutions for that—one is for Davis to add more housing, but the other is, with a hybrid model, it would allow people to live in places like Elk Grove or Vacaville where the housing prices are a bit better and then they would only have to commute a few times a week rather than every day.

If the trend is for smaller tech hubs to develop and people to move out of Silicon Valley but still be within driving range, creating a new hub in Davis, centered and anchored by UC Davis, is almost ideal.

But there are barriers to that and the biggest are the longer-term residents who are reluctant to approve a modest size tech park that could anchor such activity.

As I pointed out last year, developing a 200-acre peripheral tech park sounds like a huge quantum leap until you realize it is probably a 50-year build out.  One hundred acres for the current project is both more modest but also doesn’t quite get us the 30-year time horizon we might have had before.

The time is right for agtech, biotech, and also other kinds of technology and UC Davis figures to be a center of it.  It remains to be seen if UC Davis can take advantage.

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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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65 thoughts on “Commentary: The Changing Landscape of the Tech and the Pandemic”

  1. Matt Williams

    This article scratches the surface of an interesting topic, but only scratches a small part of the surface.  For example, what does the article and/or Max Wesman, the COO of Goodhire, say about the typical size requirements of these “exodusing” tech companies?

    Davis has a lot of commercial landlords who are holding currently vacant commercial property.  Given the state of the Retail marketplace in Davis, as well as the remote working impact on the Service marketplace, those currently vacant commercial properties are very likely to stay vacant for a very long time if kept in their current state.  It would seem to be a wise business decision to renovate a large portion of those currently vacant commercial properties so that they would be immediately attractive to small Silicon Valley tech firms that are looking to relocate their in-person operations to a new hybrid work environment hub.

    What discussion has the City of Davis had with those landlords about their plans for their currently vacant properties?

    Does the City of Davis actually have an Economic Development Plan?  If it does, where is that Plan kept?

    Paying attention to the resilience of the economy (and economic infrastructure) that we already have, is just as important (arguably more important) than wishing and hoping for economic infrastructure that we don’t have.

    One could even argue that the City is oblivious to the resilience of the economy (and economic infrastructure) that we have, and as a result our local economy is withering away.

    1. Richard_McCann

      Paying attention to the resilience of the economy (and economic infrastructure) that we already have, is just as important (arguably more important) than wishing and hoping for economic infrastructure that we don’t have.

      Matt

      So the question is whether the existing economy and infrastructure are still relevant or are they obsolete? That answer drives the decision on whether to invest in economic infrastructure that is relevant for the new world. The referenced article seems to indicate that the changes we’ve been discussing here for more than a year are coming about.

      1. Ron Oertel

        The referenced article seems to indicate that the changes we’ve been discussing here for more than a year are coming about.

        The only thing that’s “coming about” is that the DISC developer wants to re-use the traffic studies and EIR before it becomes even more obsolete.

        And, that the city is determined to try to ram this through, again:

        https://www.davisite.org/2021/10/what-happened-at-the-open-space-habitat-meeting-re-disc-2022.html

        Unless they put the northern half of the site into ag mitigation, it should be viewed as exactly the same as the original proposal (that failed). Except that they might abandon all pretext of a commercial development on the northern half, and just pursue a housing development there.

        There’s no commercial demand. If there was, the sites that Matt mentioned would be pursued for commercial redevelopment.

        And for those who “demand” a blank slate (on prime agricultural land, outside of a logical boundary for the city), there’s the site in Woodland, some 7 miles from UCD. (Which arose after it failed in Davis, and added 1,600 housing units in the process.)

      2. Matt Williams

        Richard, I agree wholeheartedly that those changes are coming about.  And further, I believe that the high rate of commercial vacancy is in very large part due to those changes.

        The question really is whether the landlords of those vacant properties are willing to accept their property being irrelevant and vacant forever, or are willing to invest the necessary capital to upgrade the property’s obsolete infrastructure to make it relevant for the new world.

        Upgrading existing property/properties to attract new world tenants does not require a vote of the people.  It can happen immediately.

        The City should be strongly encouraging such landlords to be taking those proactive steps to promote economic resilience throughout the Davis economy.

         

        1. Don Shor

          What is the current commercial vacancy rate in Davis? Which types of commercial properties have high rates of vacancy? How does that compare to the region?
          How many of those office-type commercial sites could be remodeled for wet lab space at a cost that would entice a lender to agree to finance it?

        2. Ron Oertel

          How many of those office-type commercial sites could be remodeled for wet lab space at a cost that would entice a lender to agree to finance it?

          Are you claiming that it’s “cheaper” to build from scratch (on prime farmland), and bring in all utilities, etc?  Assuming they can even bring in natural gas lines at this point, for example?

          And if so, why haven’t they done so with earlier iterations (when given a green light by the council), or any of the other sites nearby?

          Here’s an answer for you – it doesn’t pencil out, unless it’s subsidized by new housing (the “real” prize, for developers).  And even then, maybe not (witness the process in Woodland, which still has no announced commercial tenants after failing in Davis several years ago, and adding 1,600 housing units).

          This is such a b.s. argument – that there’s no “wet lab” space.  How much “wet lab space” is just lying around vacant (anywhere in the country), just waiting to be occupied?

          What is the actual demand for “wet lab” space, in regard to “penciling out” on its own?  Where are these companies coming from, and what makes you think they’ll move to Davis to start over to build from scratch?

          Take away the housing (that was added on during the process – as was ENTIRELY PREDICTABLE), and see how fast these developers decide to remain as farmers. In fact, I predicted it myself – as did anyone who is honest with themselves (and others).

           

        3. Don Shor

          I wasn’t asking you, and you have no evident expertise on any of the subjects I was asking about.

          The questions I asked about vacancy and how Davis compares to the surrounding communities could be readily answered by a commercial real estate broker. That seems like a good starting point for evaluating the likelihood of enough conversions of local commercial real estate into the types of facilities move-up or start-up businesses in the ag tech field might be seeking.

          Ron, you don’t have to reply on every comment everyone makes on the Vanguard, particularly when the comment was not directed at you.

        4. Ron Oertel

          I wasn’t asking you, and you have no evident expertise on any of the subjects I was asking about.

          Neither do you, nor does Matt for that matter. However, we do have common sense.

          The questions I asked about vacancy and how Davis compares to the surrounding communities could be readily answered by a commercial real estate broker.

          Then why ask Matt?

          And, what makes you think that a commercial real estate broker (who could stand to benefit from promoting this development) will give you or anyone else an honest answer?

          And for that matter, is that even a “category”? (“Available wet lab space”?)

          Ron, you don’t have to reply on every comment everyone makes on the Vanguard, particularly when the comment was not directed at you.

          I don’t.  Of course, I often get comments that are completely off-topic (and personal) directed at me.  You can seen an example of that in this same comment section.  And, under most other articles.

          Maybe you should ask why that is allowed to occur.
          Ignore Commenter

        5. Matt Williams

          Ron Oertel said . . . “Then why ask Matt?”

          .
          Ron, I don’t believe you read Don’s questions correctly. I do not believe Don was specifically asking me those questions, but rather placing those … very relevant … questions out in the dialogue thread for everyone reading this thread to consider.

          Since you appear to have eliminated all commercial real estate brokers as a possible source for answers to Don’s questions, who do you believe is a viable source for such answers?

          Don did not say that a commercial real estate broker would be the be-all and end-all source for the answers, but rather he said that “seems like a good starting point for evaluating the likelihood”  Absent any better suggestion from you, that may indeed be a good starting point.

          At one point in time, the City of Davis had a Chief Innovation Officer, Rob White, who had the skills and expertise … and most importantly the network of contacts … to assemble credible answers to Don’s questions.  Unfortunately the City chose to (1) sever ties with Rob, and (2) not fill the Chief Innovation Officer with a person with comparable skills and experience.  As a result the beginning of a credible Economic Development Plan that Rob was germinating withered on the vine.

          I repeat my earlier comment … the City should be strongly encouraging the landlords of vacant commercial space to be taking those proactive steps to promote economic resilience throughout the Davis economy.

        6. Matt Williams

          Ron Oertel said . . . “Of course, I often get comments that are completely off-topic (and personal) directed at me.  You can seen an example of that in this same comment section.  And, under most other articles.

          Maybe you should ask why that is allowed to occur.”

          This comment of yours confuses me.  I have gone back through all the comments in this thread, and I don’t see anything that looks at all like what you have described.  Which comment from which person offends you so much … and why is it offensive?

        7. Ron Oertel

          Matt:  Regarding commercial demand, I’d suggest that the vacancies at the properties you’ve observed (not to mention those beyond Davis) demonstrate a lack of demand.

          The same is true regarding the failure of prior “innovation center” proposals, and the morphing of them into housing developments.

          I don’t know enough about the departure of Rob White to comment on it, but one wonders if the lack of demand is also a factor regarding that.

          Personally, I don’t want to see the city hire someone focused on forcing through a peripheral development.  The city already has that, in the form of Gloria and Dan (“and the rest” – to quote the Gilligan’s Island theme song).

          Don’s question was directed to you, and he objected to my response due to lack of expertise.  And yet, neither of us has particular expertise in this field.

          But if one were to ask someone associated with development or the real estate industry, they would likely have a built-in incentive to claim that demand exists.

          On a related note, a real estate agent always thinks it’s a good time to buy (or sell).

          I did not say that any comment was “offensive”. I said that it’s off-topic. If you can’t figure it out, maybe you’re not the best-qualified to investigate “lack of demand”, either.

          I believe you also misunderstood my comment regarding Ramos. He is indeed a “Davis developer” (in regard to DISC).

          One wonders about the ramifications of having a developer sit on the board of the Yolo Food Bank, in regard to their views.

          But again, the folks that I’d suggest might consider moving to Woodland are two other paid individuals associated with that organization. At least, if they claim to care about the impact of commuting from Davis.

           

      3. Bill Marshall

        So based on less than 2 years of the reaction to Covid, is it relevant to determine what the world will look like in 15-20-25 years?

        Many would like to wait that long to determine that, doing nothing in the meantime… ignoring 15-20-25 years of past experience.

        I do not ascribe to that logic.

  2. Keith Y Echols

    …..it would allow people to live in places like Elk Grove or Vacaville where the housing prices are a bit better and then they would only have to commute a few times a week rather than every day.

    People commuting to Davis for jobs is ideal.  The city gets the business revenue without the ongoing costs of services supporting the living conditions of the workers.

    The students came back this year.  Despite some predictions that the pandemic would lead to more remote learning, the reality is that students learn better in person.  Plus, college isn’t just about the formal education, it is about the social and future professional networks that you develop.

    I have no idea how this comment ties into the rest of article.  Is there some implication about student housing you’re making.  But hey…I guess you believe the city (and by extension the people of Davis) are somehow obliged (fund city services) to enrich the students with a life outside of the University?

    There is a huge potentially young and highly trained and educated workforce to tap into.

    If this is what you’re referring to in regards to your comment about students; aren’t most of the “workforce” you’re referring to done with being students or close to done being students (scientists and engineers)?  In which case they can live here or in Vacaville or Sacramento and commute here whatever works for them.  I can accept more market rate homes being planned and built out if the job growth demanded it….but for the enrichment of the students is irrelevant.

    If the trend is for smaller tech hubs to develop and people to move out of Silicon Valley but still be within driving range, creating a new hub in Davis, centered and anchored by UC Davis, is almost ideal.

    Do you mean for a smaller tech hub to develop that has local jobs?  Or a “hub” where the workers live and work here and drive sometimes to the Bay Area?  If it’s the later; then you’re talking about creating more of a bedroom community….the city takes on the burden of providing services to these remote workers without the benefit of receiving business taxes and fees.

     

    1. David Greenwald Post author

       I have no idea how this comment ties into the rest of article.”

      My comment was about the availability of an educated workforce.  Last year there were questions as to whether students would return to town post-pandemic, that appears to be the case.

    2. Ron Oertel

      it would allow people to live in places like Elk Grove or Vacaville where the housing prices are a bit better and then they would only have to commute a few times a week rather than every day.

      Sounds like they need to do new traffic studies and a new EIR, if boosters are now claiming a change in traffic patterns as a result of telecommuting.

      Regardless, they would primarily be moving to Spring Lake, and the additional housing developments that Woodland has planned beyond that. Unlike Elk Grove or Vacaville, the DISC site is a very easy commute from Woodland. Also the reason that Davis’ school district poaches students from there.

      Of course, a lot of new Woodland residents (and some Davis residents) will be commuting to Woodland’s planned “technology park” – the one that failed in Davis, and added 1,600 housing units during its move.

      Elk Grove is a different housing market than Vacaville.  Neither are “cheap” anymore, but I suspect that Vacaville costs more.

       

        1. Ron Oertel

          Well, Richard:  I know that Davis elites (such as yourself) don’t want them in Davis, and certainly don’t want their input regarding “your” town. You said so, yourself.

          Certainly, it’s a town that’s much more diverse than Davis, so perhaps that’s part of the reason you bring this up.

          In any case, I would think that you’d be happy that Woodland so-willingly supports sprawl.

          It is interesting, though – some “Davisites” do work in Woodland (e.g., at the Yolo Food Bank). Hell, a Davis developer (Ramos) is on the board there, as well.

          Maybe they should all move to Woodland.

        2. Ron Oertel

          Actually, maybe all developers and others (e.g., anyone part of a development team, city staff, professional/environmental consultants) should be required to live in the town(s) in which they do business.

          Certainly, they have a lot more direct influence and connections than any commenters on a development-oriented blog.

          Of course, one of the problems is that these folks usually “influence” more than one town.

          There certainly are Davis-based developers who have an “influence” on development decisions in Woodland, for example.

          Since you have an intense, ongoing interest in looking up the locales where people currently live, maybe you should pursue an article regarding that, and how it influences development decisions.

          You can start with the locales in which your own business operates.

  3. Ron Glick

    “Actually, maybe all developers and others (e.g., anyone part of a development team, city staff, professional/environmental consultants) should be required to live in the town(s) in which they do business.”

    Such an ironic statement. Much of the developable land outside of the Davis city limit is owned by Davis residents who are not developing the property they own because of Measure D. Meanwhile much of the development that is happening at West Village, Sterling and UMall is being done by outside interests.

    The difference is that more cash flow leaves town each month under the current model than would stay here were it not for Measure D.

    Also requiring City Staff to live in town would require paying them a lot more money.

    1. Bill Marshall

      Also requiring City Staff to live in town would require paying them a lot more money.

      Nah… you just, as a condition of an employment, offer them a contract that their employment is entirely dependent on them being residents.  No sign, no job.

      Traditionally, most City employees have been Davis residents… they found the ‘trade-offs’ acceptable… not so much in the last 10-15 years…

    2. Keith Olsen

      I’m pretty sure Ron O made that statement tongue in cheek as a response to a commenter that makes it a point to often mention that Ron doesn’t live in Davis.

      1. Ron Glick

        I agree he didn’t mean it but it opened the door for me to point out another unintended consequence of current policy and our limit line ordinance.

  4. Ron Oertel

    Matt:  Regarding commercial demand, I’d suggest that the vacancies at the properties you’ve observed (not to mention those beyond Davis) demonstrate a lack of demand.

    The same is true regarding the failure of prior “innovation center” proposals, and the morphing of them into housing developments.

    I don’t know enough about the departure of Rob White to comment on it, but one wonders if the lack of demand is also a factor regarding that.

    Personally, I don’t want to see the city hire someone focused on forcing through a peripheral development.  The city already has that, in the form of Gloria and Dan (“and the rest” – to quote the Gilligan’s Island theme song).

    Don’s question was directed to you, and he objected to my response due to lack of expertise.  And yet, neither of us has particular expertise in this field.

    But if one were to ask someone associated with development or the real estate industry, they would likely have a built-in incentive to claim that demand exists.

    On a related note, a real estate agent always thinks it’s a good time to buy (or sell).

    I did not say that any comment was “offensive”. I said that it’s off-topic and personal. It was researched and repeatedly posted solely as an attempt to discredit and bully. And the Vanguard encouraged this, and still does.

    I believe you also misunderstood my comment regarding Ramos. He is indeed a “Davis developer” (in regard to DISC).  One wonders about the ramifications of having a developer sit on the board of the Yolo Food Bank, in regard to the views of that organization and those who run that organization.  (Though Ramos might not meet Ron G’s definition of a “Davis developer”.  Personally, I don’t see his point as an issue, unless one believes that developers and builders keep all of their money in the city in which it is generated for themselves.)

    But again, the folks that I’d suggest might consider moving to Woodland are two other paid individuals associated with Yolo Food Bank. At least, if they claim to care about the impact of commuting to/from Davis.  (That is, if the Vanguard wants to start talking about where people live rather than the actual topic at hand.)
     

     

     

     

    1. Ron Oertel

      Oh, and I would definitely talk about where Don Gibson lives (since he was a primary instigator of what occurred on the Housing Element Committee), if one is concerned about such things.

      And yet, nothing but silence from Richard McCann regarding that.  Why do you suppose that is?

      Of course, all of this can easily go down the path of questioning everyone regarding the reason(s) that they’re interested in commenting on here.

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        But it’s a good story, Don Gibson, a grad student at UC Davis moved to Sacramento due to insufficient housing in Davis for students.

        1. Ron Oertel

          I don’t believe that he’s a student at this point.

          Might depend upon what level of rent he’s paying in Sacramento.  Some areas aren’t cheap.

          Actually, no place is “cheap” anymore.

          Or, insufficient income.  And yet, I believe he may be working at a “new” development within the Mace Curve.

          Maybe Davis isn’t the best place for him. Perhaps he should try for a job in Sacramento or elsewhere. I know that I never really looked to Davis for a career. Nor did I want the career to be located in Davis.

          I suspect that there’s some areas of Woodland that are both cheaper and easier to commute from, compared to most areas in Sacramento.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I think you perhaps are being presumptuous. You don’t know him or where he works now. I also don’t think this is an appropriately discussion.

        2. Ron Oertel

          I think you perhaps are being presumptuous. You don’t know him or where he works now. I also don’t think this is an appropriately discussion.

          You’re the one who said that he’s a grad student, who was “pushed out” to Sacramento.

          You don’t know him or where he works now.

          I have communicated with him.  But more importantly, he was appointed to a key committee, while not being a resident of the city.

          Others on here have noted that he works in Davis.  You had no problem when they were making that comment, apparently because they were using it to support growth.

          I also don’t think this is an appropriately discussion.

          Neither is Richard McCann’s ongoing “discussion”.

          How is it that one’s employment locale is “off limits”, but one’s city of residence is “just fine” to discuss on here? It seems that it depends upon whether or not it’s being used in a political manner that you support.

    2. Matt Williams

      Ron Oertel said . . . “Matt:  Regarding commercial demand, I’d suggest that the vacancies at the properties you’ve observed (not to mention those beyond Davis) demonstrate a lack of demand.”

      I believe Ron O. is over generalizing when he says “demonstrate(s) a lack of demand”

      I also believe Richard McCann is closer to correct when he says “So the question is whether the existing economy and infrastructure are still relevant or are they obsolete?”

      Putting Richard’s statement into Ron’s language “I’d suggest that the vacancies at the properties you’ve observed demonstrate a lack of demand for properties that are configured/appointed with irrelevant and/or obsolete amenities in the new post-pandemic economy.”

      The question really is whether the landlords of the vacant commercial properties in Davis are willing to accept their property being irrelevant and vacant forever, or are willing to invest the necessary capital to upgrade the property’s obsolete infrastructure to make it relevant for the new world.  Once that step has been taken, if there are still no tenants for the reconfigured space, then Ron O. will indeed be accurate if he makes the argument that there is a “lack of demand.”

    3. Don Shor

      But if one were to ask someone associated with development or the real estate industry, they would likely have a built-in incentive to claim that demand exists.

      The facts about vacancy rates are available but usually behind paywalls. A commercial broker is likely to have access to the information. I have no reason to believe they would lie about something that can be readily fact-checked by anyone else who subscribes to the same services. I don’t, and so far as I know you and Matt don’t, have access to that information. But people who work in that field do.

      Any discussion about commercial vacancies is pointless without that data. Others who are more versed in commercial real estate can give us information about the types of commercial sites and can give us their informed opinions about the likelihood of redevelopment of existing sites.

      Using pictures of advertised vacancies is not informative. Making assumptions about the types of available properties and how readily they could or would be retrofitted to the types of businesses we’re discussing is pointless if we don’t have the information and expertise to even begin to talk about the current market.

      I have actually gone through the process of seeking a site for a particular commercial purpose, and taken the development of that bare lot through the planning and construction process. So I do know what it’s like to be a customer looking for commercial property. I don’t think you’ve done that. I don’t think Matt’s done that. So I can tell you that when you’re seeking to start a business, there are things you’re looking for in potential sites, and we weighed the possibilities of a vacant lot in an existing subdivision vs trying to adapt our business to an existing commercial site. There are significant trade-offs in that decision matrix.

      My opinion based on that experience is that the existing office spaces that are vacant are not likely, in many cases, to be suitable for tech or especially ag tech businesses. That’s been the focus of the planning process that got us to the whole idea of a peripheral business park in the first place. Whether the current iteration of DISC meets those needs and provides sufficient benefits to the city to balance the costs and impacts is what the election will be about. But before anybody starts making assertions about the ready availability of commercial space already in the city, I’d like to see data about the existing market, find out what industry professionals think is the likely future of the commercial market, and hear what people with actual expertise have to say about this proposal.

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        Adding to Don’s point, when those images were posted about vacancies, I asked a commercial real estate broker who explained why that was a very misleading way to assess vacancies.

      2. Keith Y Echols

        I have three separate experiences with office space.

        The first was when I worked for an IT consulting company.  I had to expand it into Santa Clara back in the late 90’s.  While we didn’t have any major needs compared to most other companies in the area, we did need to make some changes (tenant improvements).  The primary one we needed to make was a couple of additional power circuits in the building.  This was due to amount of power the server farm we were installing  was going to take up.  The second and related thing was the power needed for an additional high powered HVAC unit to keep everything cool which also included having to install much more significant insulation in the building.

        The second time I had to get office space was for my own company.  But we had no major needs other than connecting two office spaces together when we grew.

        The third time was when my company acquired an office building in Sunnyvale.  The major tenant was a chip design company (I think).  They were paying a huge premium for their office space because of the massive tenant improvements they had already made.  So it wasn’t very easy for them to go elsewhere.   I can’t be 100% sure but I believe they had installed clean rooms with specific equipment to suck up any particles in the air?

        But I do not know how relevant my experience is for bio-tech ag companies that may want to come to Davis.

      3. Ron Oertel

        I have no reason to believe they would lie about something that can be readily fact-checked by anyone else who subscribes to the same services. 

        Sure – someone who would benefit from increased leasing and/or sales opportunities has “no reason” to suggest that more “opportunities” are needed. (Sarcasm intended.)

        This would be akin to asking a council member (who has a pool-cleaning business, for example), if more development (with more pools) are needed.

        Or, asking a nursery owner if more “typical sprawl” (e.g., with landscaped backyards) is needed.

        Others who are more versed in commercial real estate can give us information about the types of commercial sites and can give us their informed opinions about the likelihood of redevelopment of existing sites.

        Well, if they can’t be redeveloped to adjust to the market, then I would assume that the market value = zero.  And, that seems pretty unlikely.

        So I can tell you that when you’re seeking to start a business, there are things you’re looking for in potential sites, and we weighed the possibilities of a vacant lot in an existing subdivision vs trying to adapt our business to an existing commercial site. There are significant trade-offs in that decision matrix.

        The reason we’re seeing the DISC proposal is due to the housing component, which was not the city’s goal.  The developer has had multiple opportunities to pursue a commercial development at the site.  That wasn’t good enough for them.

        There is also a significant cost in developing “blank” land, probably even more so that redeveloping existing sites (which already have infrastructure). Without even getting into all of the additional mitigations that are required for new development outside of the city.

        Also, can they even bring natural gas into the site, at this point? I recall that this was one of the features needed, according to Tim Keller. I know that it’s being discouraged for new housing, at least.

        As a side note, the DISC site is not a “vacant lot”.  It’s prime farmland, outside of a logical boundary for the city.

        And the city ain’t getting a bicycle underpass to it this time, either. Unbelievable, that the city would even consider it without that.

         

         

        1. Bill Marshall

          Ah… seeing your skills in action, regarding,

          This would be akin to asking a council member (who has a pool-cleaning business, for example), if more development (with more pools) are needed.

          Or, asking a nursery owner if more “typical sprawl” (e.g., with landscaped backyards) is needed.

          But those were just ‘hypotheticals’, and not a sign that someone professed to be an ‘auditor’… right? Hypothetically speaking…

        2. Keith Y Echols

          The reason we’re seeing the DISC proposal is due to the housing component,

          This does not make sense.  I’ve tried to explain this before.  Most of the time when a developer wants to build a commercial project they line up interested potential tenants.  This gives them some degree of assurance that their project will be successful in the future.  The problem is that because of Measure J/K/R…etc… The developer can not guarantee with any degree of certainty to prospective tenants that there will actually be commercial space for prospective tenants to commit to leasing.  So the developer has no future assurance for the commercial component of the project.  To offset that risk they’ve included a housing component.  Why?  Nearly certain money.  There’s little risk. So while the developer is intent on building out (and cashing in on) the commercial component, the housing component shores up the financial risk by the developer.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Except that they actually have built into the DA, or they did last time, that they have to build out 20 percent of the tech park before they can start adding housing. But yes, your explanation is accurate (they just made a political decision to undercut it somewhat because of the predictable objections that this is a housing project).

        3. Ron Oertel

          So, what you’re noting is that there’s less-risk (and more demand) for housing, than there is for commercial.  We already knew that.

          Measure J (now D) applies to both, equally.  But only the type of proposal with actual demand is put forth.

          Tell you what:  When they fill-up the one that failed in Davis, moved 7 miles north up Highway 113 (and added 1,600 housing units), we can talk “demand” (e.g., beyond the massive vacancies which exist in both towns, as well as in West Sacramento).

          Not even one announced commercial tenant for the one proposed in Woodland, several years after failing in Davis.

          (And no – I’m not a “supporter” of that one, either.)

          The only “wet lab” which is viable in the heavily-subsidized, small lab in Woodland (which moved from Sacramento, recently). Have you seen the list of entities subsidizing it?

          https://www.agstart.org/sponsors.html

          With a list like that, it (almost) puts “Aggie Square” to shame (regarding subsidies).

        4. Keith Y Echols

          So, what you’re noting is that there’s less-risk (and more demand) for housing, than there is for commercial.  We already knew that.

          Yes.  But that does not mean there is no demand for commercial.  That’s the point.  The developer isn’t developing commercial just to get some housing built…that would be incredibly inefficient, wasteful and financially risky.

          Measure J (now D) applies to both, equally.  But only the type of proposal with actual demand is put forth.

          Again, you’re failing to acknowledge or understand what I wrote….businesses will not COMMIT to a commercial project that has a good chance of being voted down.  You’re taking an all or nothing view…that just because the housing component is put forth first…that the commercial component must have no or no significant demand.

          Tell you what:  When they fill-up the one that failed in Davis, moved 7 miles north (and added 1,600 housing units), we can talk.

          Irrelevant.

          Not even one announced commercial tenant, several years after failing in Davis

          Measure J/K/R/D is why commercial development fails in Davis.

          I am not a fan of the housing component of DISC.  I do not support new market rate housing unless it provides some tangible benefit.  Helping to finance and mitigate risk for developers to build a viable commercial project makes the housing component a bitter but necessary pill to swallow.

          1. Don Shor

            I am not a fan of the housing component of DISC.

            The housing was not part of the original proposal for the site (MRIC then ARC then DISC now DISC/2). It was urged on the developers by city staff. Not too surprising that the developer was happy to incorporate housing for the reasons you’ve mentioned. But housing on that site was not part of the original planning process nor did that proposal apparently originate with the developer.

        5. Keith Y Echols

          It was urged on the developers by city staff.

          I wonder if that was because the staff thought the project stood a better chance of being approved with a housing component?…..especially with cities now under pressure to meet their housing quotas from the state.

          1. Don Shor

            Perhaps, as Bill notes, it may have been strategic. But it’s also a core precept of New Urbanism. Here’s an actual quote from an article about business parks, or, if you prefer, “innovation ecosystems.” Urban planners have been touting the idea of people living in these types of developments for decades now. They think people want to live in business parks, and want retail in their neighborhoods despite how impractical both of those concepts can be in the real world.

            Open spaces that allow for the sharing of ideas, and streets are generally well landscaped and walkable, with parks and open spaces. There are high quality eateries and bars and interaction with the arts is a critical element. An emphasis on a diversity of housing options, ranging from small well priced apartments to four bedroom options creates a mix of ecosystem residents.

            While people still drive private vehicles, vibrant innovation ecosystems have enviable public transit and often people live close to their workplace.

            This new style of working and living space allows for the collision of ideas and people, a collision which is needed to help us solve some of our most complex problems.

            I think the housing in this project is a huge mistake.

        6. Keith Y Echols

          But it’s also a core precept of New Urbanism. 

          LOL…”New Urbansim”.  I went through that phase back in the early 00’s.  I had been tracking New Urbanism projects across the country.  The most prominant and one I got to visit was the redevelopment of Denver’s old airport Stapleton.   Back then I was working for a residential development company that specialized in annexation and development of new land for housing…..basically sprawl.  Near the end of my time at that company I moved to San Francisco and fell in love with the urban life style; walking to places and mass transit.  So I tried really hard to push for New Urbanist types of projects but it fell on deaf ears.  Later when me and a partner did our own development projects….I could never make a “New Urbanist” project work….it was always easier and more lucrative to simply subdivide, throw in some sort of amenities (parks, lakes…golf course) than go to the trouble of an integrated “New Urbanist” development that included extensive office space and commercial.  I mean it always sounded good but just never worked out.  The way I figure it; no one really wants to live near their work if their work is some boring office buildings.  You can try to put up commercial retail to make it better but it just won’t make it  desirable enough.  “New Urbanism” for suburban towns works best in small pockets IMO.  Residential and commercial integrated  in small pockets with access to mass transit to get to the commercial business office/factory buildings.

        7. Alan Miller

          business parks, or, if you prefer, “innovation ecosystems.”

          I don’t . . .

          prefer

          And Davis isn’t urban . . . so this is NEW, not urbanism, but . . . satellite small-ish college town in big valley – ISM ?

  5. Bill Marshall

    Of course, all of this can easily go down the path of questioning everyone regarding the reason(s) that they’re interested in commenting on here.

    You have opened the “d0or” further… don’t be surprised if someone pushes you through it… and you’ve lost your “righteous indignation” rights.

      1. Bill Marshall

        Why not?  Some already have… due to my tenure in public service, my info is all over the place, readily available… and some here have used it in the past… including someone, who no longer posts here, who got indignant when I replied in kind.

        I’m already ‘fair game’ by public record.  It is what it is.

        1. Ron Oertel

          I don’t know that you replied “in kind”.  But if that was the case, your information should not have been brought up, either.

          It is not, in fact “fair game” – though I have no doubt that some make a hobby out of looking up information regarding others (whether or not it’s posted on here).

          That (other) person’s information had nothing to do with the city itself.

          My motivation is driven by a desire to preserve the existing footprint of the city, as much as possible – especially when it’s outside of a logical boundary.

          It’s ultimately that simple.

          Truth be told, I’m more concerned about the interests of those who DON’T post on here (e.g., the developers and apartment owners themselves, for example). And more importantly, the influence and power they have.

          Oh – and I’m also not particularly fond of some associated with the school district, as it seems they willingly sell-out for sprawl – solely for their own interests. (That is, when they’re not ousting board members for having the wrong skin color – though I assume that’s only some of them who support that.)

          There is only one developer who periodically posts on here.

  6. Bill Marshall

    I don’t know that you replied “in kind”.  But if that was the case, your information should not have been brought up, either.

    So, had I not responded in kind, it would have been OK, right?  The other would have had a free shot, and their release of my info was only “not ok” when I responded.

    You seem to have a very interesting “value system”.  You’re entitled to that.

    And yes, Moderator, over and out on this issue.

    1. Ron Oertel

      It should never be brought up.  But anyone who does so “first” bears more responsibility.  That was my only point. I don’t recall witnessing who initiated that, nor do I even recall it. (I heard about it later.)

      For the most part, I recall YOU bringing it up (e.g., when the Vanguard went to the full-name requirement). I’m not that focused on it.

      By the way, do you see how this veers off-topic, when personal information is discussed (rather than the topic at hand)?

      This is the result, when the Vanguard encourages this.

  7. Bill Marshall

    I wonder if that was because the staff thought the project stood a better chance of being approved with a housing component?

    Good wondering.  Am 92.762% sure that was the case… residential, associated with the non-res, means less traffic @ peak hour… a “sales” maneuver… senior Planning staff (at that time) erred in pushing that, in my opinion.  Perhaps some were more interested in ‘processing’, as opposed to ‘planning’…

  8. Bill Marshall

    … it may have been strategic. But it’s also a core precept of New Urbanism.

    I think the housing in this project is a huge mistake.

    I agree on all counts… it was strategic, and a failed strategy… I actually support the new urbanism concept, but it gets to “time, place, and manner”.  Peripheral development is not the best place to implement New Urbanism.

    Urban planners have been touting the idea of people living in these types of developments for decades now. They think people want to live in business parks, and want retail in their neighborhoods despite how impractical both of those concepts can be in the real world.

    Again, true story… time, place, manner… it’s like telling folk what they should want (am I the only one whose hackles go up when I hear that?)… and if you are not convinced, it goes to “thou shalt want”, and “we know better for you, so we’ll just impose it”… not there, except in certain circumstances where public health and/or safety is concerned.  Neither apply to development, in general.

    Again, I know and have enjoyed many neighborhoods where “new urbanism” has been well applied.  “New Urbanism” is actually a misnomer… it (mixed use) was SOP from the 1600’s-early/mid 1900’s in the US… it is written, “there is nothing new under the sun”…

    1. Keith Y Echols

      Again, I know and have enjoyed many neighborhoods where “new urbanism” has been well applied.  “New Urbanism” is actually a misnomer… it (mixed use) was SOP from the 1600’s-early/mid 1900’s in the US… it is written, “there is nothing new under the sun”…

      I’ve always called “new urbansim” OLD urbansim.  The idea that you can walk or take some sort of alternative transit (mass or bicycle…etc..) to work or to commercial areas…..is basically how much of Europe was built….because it was built BEFORE cars were invented that allowed us to spread everything out like we do in the US.

      Eh, elements of new urbansim can and will continue to exist to varying degrees in real estate projects.  Walkability and access to mass transit as well as pockets of mixed use projects will continue to become more popular in cities and towns.  But I think new massive new urbansim projects might be a dying breed.

      1. Ron Oertel

        The idea that you can walk or take some sort of alternative transit (mass or bicycle…etc..) to work or to commercial areas…..

        Not in “this” proposed development, since there won’t be a bicycle/pedestrian underpass.

        I wonder if that was because the staff thought the project stood a better chance of being approved with a housing component?…..especially with cities now under pressure to meet their housing quotas from the state.

        If it did originate with staff, that means that they “went against” the original reason that the city was interested in pursuing a commercial development.

        In any case, this occurred prior to the “pressure” (change in law) that the state has subsequently applied.

        That same law ensures that Davis will have to account for additional housing, if this development is approved.  The reason being that SACOG considers the number of jobs in a given locale, when determining RHNA numbers.

        And since this proposal creates more jobs than housing (per the EIR), it virtually ensures that the city will have a higher RHNA number in the next round, if the proposal is approved.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if the resulting higher RHNA number is subsequently proposed to be accommodated on the “other half” of the site.

         

        1. Keith Y Echols

          That same law ensures that Davis will have to account for additional housing, if this development is approved.  The reason being that SACOG considers the number of jobs in a given locale, when determining RHNA numbers.

          True, but it’s not a direct one job to one house assessment.  In fact one of my complaints about the SACOG calculations is that it factors in significant residential spillover responsibility for neighboring communities for regional job centers.  This in fact forces a bedroom community status on many communities.  However in this case, it works out for Davis.   Also, as I’ve said before…I’m willing to swallow a bitter pill of new market rate homes in order for Davis to be able actually get a business park off the ground and signal to the rest of the world that it’s open for business.

        2. Ron Oertel

          True, but it’s not a direct one job to one house assessment.  In fact one of my complaints about the SACOG calculations is that it factors in significant residential spillover responsibility for neighboring communities for regional job centers. 

          SACOG forces cities which pursue more jobs to (subsequently) approve more housing.

          This in fact forces a bedroom community status on many communities.  However in this case, it works out for Davis.   

          I don’t think this is true, in that the resulting RHNA increase would be forced upon Davis, not surrounding communities.

          Also, as I’ve said before…I’m willing to swallow a bitter pill of new market rate homes in order for Davis to be able actually get a business park off the ground and signal to the rest of the world that it’s open for business.

          As noted before, anything that Davis approves is going to be competing with surrounding proposals.  And it doesn’t appear that the surrounding proposals are proceeding very quickly.  (Which brings us back to lack of actual demand – other than for the housing.)

          The city of West Sacramento could probably fit 10 DISC proposals within its boundaries, without batting an eye.  So can Woodland, for that matter.

          But even when they add 1,600 housing units, the one which failed in Davis (and moved 7 miles up Highway 113) does not have any announced commercial tenants. And like DISC, they’re starting from a “blank slate” (farmland). In other words, none of the usual excuses regarding “this one is too hot”, “this one is too cold”, which is usually the type of claim regarding infill. (Never mind that infill already has infrastructure, compared to prime farmland outside of a logical boundary for the city.)

          It could be that cities are going to have to stop looking toward sprawl as a perennial “answer” to something.

        3. Keith Y Echols

          SACOG forces cities which pursue more jobs to (subsequently) approve more housing.

          You’re mostly correct but not completely.  That’s why I mentioned the spillover.

          As noted before, anything that Davis approves is going to be competing with surrounding proposals.  And it doesn’t appear that the surrounding proposals are proceeding very quickly.  (Which brings us back to lack of actual demand – other than for the housing.)
          The city of West Sacramento could probably fit 10 DISC proposals within its boundaries, without batting an eye.  So can Woodland, for that matter.

          Yes, but those cities are not Davis.  The idea is that companies will come to Davis because of the educated talent available.  I wasn’t too sure of this until I read up on Vacaville’s bio-tech facility which targeted Vacaville because it was in close proximity to Davis (and Davis was too stupid by reputation to get that bio-tech company itself).  .

          (Never mind that infill already has infrastructure, compared to prime farmland outside of a logical boundary for the city.)

          Look, I’m all for infill development first too.  But the reality is (and we’ve tried explaining this before) is that available infill isn’t going to be adequate for most technology based commercial needs.  Heck, most of what’s available commercial space in Davis wouldn’t be suitable for the meager IT consulting company expansion I had to do 20+ years ago in the bay area….let alone fit the needs of a bio-tech lab or a chip design company.

        4. Ron Oertel

          The idea is that companies will come to Davis because of the educated talent available.

          Maybe.  For awhile, Vacaville really struggled when one (or more?) of these related businesses closed.

          http://www.pharmafile.com/news/520895/janssen-close-plant-california

          But if they’re looking for so-called “Davis talent”, it’s also available at the following location.  Look at how this is advertised:

          Woodland Research Park is a planned technology hub designed to serve an array of research and technology companies interested in locating and growing near the University of California, Davis, the top agricultural research university in the world.

          Designed as a thriving 350-acre work/live campus minutes from the UC Davis campus, Woodland Research Park is situated in the center of one of the world’s top seed and food innovation hubs.  Offering over 2 million square feet of research park office and lab space, 1,600 single and multi-family homes, parks and open space, Woodland Research Park will foster collaboration and build capacity for innovative tenants and partners seeking to be part of one of the nation’s leading agriculture and food research and technology centers.

          http://woodlandresearchpark.org/

          That’s why I said that the Woodland proposal can be viewed as a “barometer” of demand (in addition to the VAST infill opportunities available – especially in places like West Sacramento).  And yet, no announced commercial tenants, some 3 years or so after failing in Davis.  And with no Measure D “supposedly” holding it back, along with tons of housing added – at a price that’s lower than Davis, etc.

          So, get back to us in 30 years or so, to see if the Woodland proposal is “filled”, by then. (Or alternatively, partially out-of-business.)

          On a related note, check out the number of sponsors needed to make this small lab “pencil out”.

          https://www.agstart.org/sponsors.html

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            You keep arguinjg the point about Woodland, but how do you know it’s a valid comparison or even what the situation is there.

            Why is that more a valid point of comparison than Vacaville? Why did Agenus move to Vacaville over Woodland if the comparison is valid?

            Why is Woodland a more valid comparison than what we’ve seen with Tim Keller’s experience?

            Indeed, we have in the last year had the opposite views of very prominent people who actually work in the field.

            Russ Moroz for example said, What we’re finding is that more and more of those companies are exploring alternative locations that have the trained workforce that they need, which I think Davis is pretty well positioned for because, obviously being a major research university with a significant presence in life science, I think that would be a very good source of potential employees.”

            Mark Friedman last October told the council, ” there’s good demand in Davis for research tenancies.”

            And of course Tim Keller and his views you well know.

            So why your view over theirs?

        5. Ron Oertel

          Quite a few questions, here.  Let’s see:

          You keep arguinjg the point about Woodland, but how do you know it’s a valid comparison or even what the situation is there.

          Again, I’d refer you to what I just posted regarding the proposal in Woodland, which moved 7 miles up Highway 113 and added 1,600 housing units after failing in Davis.

          Why is that more a valid point of comparison than Vacaville? Why did Agenus move to Vacaville over Woodland if the comparison is valid?

          I don’t know – ask Agenus.  But there’s “no there, there” in the Southern part of Woodland, yet.  Just like there’s no DISC (other than some nice prime farmland, outside of a logical boundary for the city).  However, there’s plenty of “there” in West Sacramento, for example.

          Did Agenus move into an already-developed site in Vacaville?  Something where infrastructure already exists?  Perhaps a site where a previous business failed?  (Again, just asking questions.)

          Why is Woodland a more valid comparison than what we’ve seen with Tim Keller’s experience?

          Tim Keller’s company is tiny and subsidized.  Certainly, not the type of company that’s going to be a savior for (either) Woodland or Davis proposals.  According to a previous Vanguard article, he’s currently renting space from the owner of the DISC site.

          By the way, is DISC still promising him fully-equipped lab space to rent?  Along with a natural gas line?  If so, I’d be advocating for it as well, if I was in Tim Keller’s position.

          Russ Moroz for example said, What we’re finding is that more and more of those companies are exploring alternative locations that have the trained workforce that they need, which I think Davis is pretty well positioned for because, obviously being a major research university with a significant presence in life science, I think that would be a very good source of potential employees.”

          Are you seeing how the Woodland site is being advertised?

          Mark Friedman last October told the council, ” there’s good demand in Davis for research tenancies.”

          Again, are you seeing how the Woodland site is being advertised?  (After failing in Davis, and adding 1,600 housing units during the “move” 7 miles up Highway 113?)

          These names don’t have a great deal of meaning to me.  In any case, what are their “views” regarding the Woodland site?

          And of course Tim Keller and his views you well know.

          Tim Keller’s company is tiny and subsidized.  Similar to the heavily-subsidized “AgStart” non-profit, referenced above.  Certainly, not the type of company that’s going to be a savior for (either) the Woodland or Davis proposals.  In addition, he already claimed that the Woodland site is not willing to build fully-equipped lab space for a small company such as his.

          According to a previous Vanguard article, Tim Keller is currently renting space from the owner of the DISC site.

          By the way, is DISC still promising him fully-equipped lab space to rent?  Along with a natural gas line?

          So why your view over theirs?

          Again, I’m just looking at what’s occurred, not my (or someone else’s) self-interested “views”.

          And what we’re seeing is DISC morph into a housing development (as did the Cannery, along with the former site of the Davis Innovation Center, and Nishi), and one without even a bicycle underpass to it.
          And then there’s Aggie Square, which is so heavily subsidized in regard to dollars and land that it would be hard to make an argument that it would even be proposed without those subsidies.

          And then there’s the “innovation center” that was actually proposed on UCD’s Davis campus, which also ultimately failed.

          So, my “views” (and anyone else’s “views”) are pretty irrelevant, when you look at actual facts and history.

          I’d suggest another “Studio 54” type report in another 30 years from now, after we see if there’s actual demand (e.g., at the Woodland site, and/or the vast infill opportunities that exist).

  9. Bill Marshall

    Again, I’d refer you to what I just posted regarding the proposal in Woodland, which moved 7 miles up Highway 113 and added 1,600 housing units after failing in Davis.

    No sprawl over farmland there… assume you vigorously opposed that.

    So, my “views” (and anyone else’s “views”) are pretty irrelevant, when you look at actual facts and history.

    True story, yet you till put forward your espoused views…

    I’d suggest another “Studio 54” type report in another 30 years from now, after we see if there’s actual demand (e.g., at the Woodland site, and/or the vast infill opportunities that exist).

    Ahh… the ‘nubs’… ‘vast infill opportunities’?  Even “when you look at actual facts and history”?  Error.  Do nothing for 30 years?  Got your view captured there, but see second quote.  Your view is, by your own admission, ‘pretty irrelevant’.

    1. Ron Oertel

      No sprawl over farmland there… assume you vigorously opposed that.

      I do.  They don’t care.  Seems like a good city for fans of sprawl and innovation centers to relocate to, rather than constantly trying to make Davis emulate it.

      Woodland is a very different community than Davis.

      True story, yet you till put forward your espoused views…

      Again, just relaying the history of “innovation centers” in Davis.  Not even seeing where my opinion is located in that comment.

      Ahh… the ‘nubs’… ‘vast infill opportunities’?  Even “when you look at actual facts and history”?  Error.

      They can probably fit 10 “DISCs” within West Sacramento’s city limits, and no one would even notice.  They could also do that in the northern/industrial part of Woodland.

      Do nothing for 30 years?

      No – I’d suggest continuing to farm the site, or at least put the northern half into agricultural mitigation as part of this proposal.  Otherwise, it should be viewed the same way as the original (which lost), but this time – without a bicycle underpass. Though truth be told, I suspect that the northern half will eventually be proposed primarily for housing, if this initial proposal is approved.

      I’d also suggest that the city stop converting its existing commercial/industrial sites for housing.

       

       

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