Comstock's magazine 0219 - February 2019 - Page 58

n DEVELOPMENT “The ideas that are coming out of the university are really first class. I do think it’s unfortunate that we haven’t done a great job of retaining the transfer in our own community, but I also feel that we have to pull the community along.” - Gloria Partida, UC Davis lab manager and Mayor Pro Tem, City of Davis could include cellular therapies, medical devices, digital health, smart cities and new mobility. In August 2018, city leaders announced that the UC Davis Rehabilitation Hos- pital would be Aggie Square’s first project. The university is partnering with Kentucky-based Kindred Healthcare on the 48,000-square-foot hospital, which is expected to bring an infusion of $60 million to the area, with high-wage jobs, research opportunities and student internships. Business and neighborhood representatives from Oak Park, Tahoe Park and Elmhurst (who make up Aggie Square’s Communi- ty Engagement Advisory Committee) will also provide input on the project. “There’s an explicit goal for the project — to the greatest degree possible — to contribute to the resilien- cy of the surrounding neighborhoods,” Segar says. Approximately 200,000 square feet is anticipated for co-locating university programs, information technolo- gy companies and workforce development programs, and studies are also underway for a housing project (in the range of 200 units) and public spaces that connect the UC Davis Medical Center with the community along Stockton Boulevard. Total build-out is expected to take 10 years. THE DAVIS PATH FORWARD Despite some of the setbacks with approving technology space in Davis, Mayor Pro Tem and UC Davis lab manager Gloria Partida points to some positive movement, including how voters recently approved two housing developments: Nishi Gateway 2.0 and the West Davis Active Adult Commu- nity. Partida indicated that the city council is also working on identifying an inventory of space for future development as facilities for research or startups. “The ideas that are coming out of the university are really first class. I do think it’s unfortunate that we haven’t done a great job of retaining 58 comstocksmag.com | February 2019 the transfer in our own community, but I also feel that we have to pull the community along, and the projects must be reflective of the community’s values and what they want.” Diane Parro, director of business and community en- gagement for the City of Davis, agrees and is working with the city council to identify opportunities that suit Davis. “If a big giant leap isn’t the first thing that can be accommodat- ed in Davis, we want to make sure we are taking advantage of every other right-sized opportunity,” she says. Parro points to some new growth in the technology sector, including the addition of the 7,500-square-foot Archer Daniels Midland enzyme lab in 2018 and the 36,000-square-foot Area 52 in- dustrial startup space owned by clean-tech company Sierra Energy. She also notes developer Mark Friedman’s purchase of University Research Park in South Davis, whose plans in- clude developing 165,000 square feet of housing and office space. The city is also in talks with a prominent global food and ag company that is involved with some co-research at UC Davis and is looking for office space. “These operations aren’t huge but are the kinds of proj- ects that represent a way that we can continue to be suc- cessful in a niche that works for us, even if it’s modest,” says Parro. “We have to work with what we have now, and I can say with full confidence that we have a city council in Davis that is going to be cautious and thoughtful and intentional, but their minds are open to what fiscal benefits that the city frankly needs to be exploring.” n Laurie Lauletta-Boshart is a contributing writer and editor for consumer publications, Fortune 500 companies, small business and higher education. She has written for Dwell, ESPN, Wall Street Journal, SI.com (Sports Illustrated) and others. On Twit- ter @laurieboshart or www.wordplaycommunications.com.