Addressing Neighborhood Questions

February 2020

UC Davis, the Aggie Square team, and the city of Sacramento are committed to working closely with people in our surrounding neighborhoods to better understand and address community concerns. In addition to meeting regularly with our Partnership Advisory Council and Community Engagement Advisory Committee, we give presentations to and take questions from neighborhood associations, business and civic groups, media, faculty, and staff. 

Aggie Square Planning Director Bob Segar attended a meeting of the Oak Park Neighborhood Association on Feb. 6, 2020 to give an update on the project and take questions. He was joined by Councilmember Jay Schenirer; Councilmember Eric Guerra; city of Sacramento staff including Chief Innovation Officer Louis Stewart (city of Sacramento Aggie Square Lead), Workforce Coordinator Kriztina Palone, Housing Coordinator Danielle Foster; and Sacramento’s Area Congregations Together Executive Director Gabby Trejo.

Representatives from Elmhurst and Tahoe Park neighborhood groups were there, as well. The meeting was recorded and video from the meeting is available online. Since there were more questions than time allowed to answer that night, the Aggie Square team agreed to answer remaining questions in writing. Several questions were similar, so we grouped them by issue. Answers can be found below.

We were asked our plans for "addressing homelessness on Stockton Boulevard."

UC Davis continues to provide primary and specialty health care services for people who are homeless and other low-income families. Through its partnership with Sacramento County, UC Davis has expanded primary care services at its primary care center located at Broadway and Stockton Boulevard

UC Davis has provided support over the years to provide care to community members experiencing homelessness. In the past three years alone, UC Davis has contributed more than $6.8 million to support housing and healthcare programs such as the Interim Care Program, Whole Person Care/Pathways to Health and Home, and capital improvements for two new navigation centers on Meadowview Road and Alhambra/Broadway.

Recent announcements that the Food Source supermarket in Oak Park would soon close prompted people to ask if UC Davis bought the property or was involved in some way. We were not involved. UC Davis did not purchase the Food Source property. We understand the closure of the supermarket was a business decision by the owners of Food Source. We also understand the city is working with the property owner to recruit a new tenant and we support the city’s efforts.

Several people asked about the potential for displacement that additional development may bring to the area. For example, one question was "How will UC Davis reduce displacement caused by increased cost of living and housing costs associated with the Aggie Square project's implementation?"

The pressures of displacement have been felt in our neighborhoods for years and we know people need relief. We have always had the mindset of bringing jobs and development for the local community. 

This is why UC Davis’ partnership with the city of Sacramento is so critical to Aggie Square’s development. Each partner plays to its strengths to ensure inclusive economic development. The university attracts jobs to the area and provides skills necessary for people to fill those jobs. Aggie Square will include a housing project, focused on students, to absorb some of the demand that the project generates. 

UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) will coordinate the university’s job-training efforts. For example, CPE is already working with the Institute for Regenerative Cures and a private life sciences company to develop a certificate program in stem cell development. This training will be available to local high school graduates, giving new life sciences companies in Aggie Square the confidence they need to hire local graduates of the program.

By identifying industries and companies now, CPE can get specific training programs in place when Aggie Square is built.

We are not acting alone. As part of the Mayor’s Workforce Collective, UC Davis, California State University, Sacramento and Los Rios Community College District are  collaborating to identify the skills people in Sacramento will need to get and keep higher-wage jobs, and then developing the programs to provide those skills.

Aggie Square is also leveraging UC Davis’ strengths to address other concerns raised by community members. For example, Aggie Square has convened experts in medicine, education, agriculture and dietary science to examine food security issues in local neighborhoods. In January, UC Davis announced a collaboration with chef and food advocate Alice Waters for The Alice Waters Institute for Edible Education, which will work with the UC Davis School of Education to improve the quality of school lunches in Sacramento and beyond.

The complexity of these challenges requires partnerships across the spectrum — universities, other educational partners, government, neighborhood groups, industry and nonprofits. 

We were asked, "Will there be a medical clinic for the underserved area?"

UC Davis Health provides primary and specialty health care services for our medically underserved population. Through a partnership with Sacramento County, UC Davis Health has expanded primary care services at the county’s primary care center located at Broadway and Stockton Boulevard

We were asked, "Please describe the funding plans for Aggie Square," and specifically asked to break down public vs. private funding. Aggie Square’s construction is fueled by private investment. A private real estate developer will lease university owned land to finance, build, and manage the Aggie Square buildings. The university and other partners will lease space in the buildings.

We were asked, "Will UC Davis and other businesses on (the Sacramento) campus be required to use vendors (small businesses) in the surrounding neighborhoods?" 

Our goal is to source locally as much as possible. We are working with city government and business leaders to identify more opportunities for local firms, because this often increases quality while reducing cost. It also boosts the local economy.

As part of this commitment to supporting local and small businesses, UC Davis announced a Diverse Supplier Expo, originally scheduled for March 26 in Davis. The event has been postponed as part of the coronavirus response, but will be rescheduled as soon as possible. More information is online at

Another important example of this is the UC Davis Health food and nutrition services department, which has more than doubled the percentage of local and sustainable food purchases since 2016.

We were asked about the occupants of "the IT building," which we assume was the office/classroom tower we call the Lifelong Learning building. Major information technology companies have expressed initial interest in the space.

This will be the new home for UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education, the workforce training flagship for the university. It will also be home to the UC Davis Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement, which focuses on research, teaching and learning that engages the public and has a broader impact. The building will include a variety of programs that focus on “health beyond treating disease.” Additionally, the building will include modern classrooms and office space for private companies, university and partner ventures, and business incubation/acceleration experts. 

We received several questions related to parking. One person asked, "How many new spaces will be created before Aggie Square and how many after?"

Aggie Square is part of a larger plan for growth at the Sacramento campus. We have existing plans for a replacement parking structure near the hospital to address the parking spaces lost due to construction. UC Davis is also implementing a comprehensive transportation demand management (TDM) program to reduce reliance on single-occupant vehicles on the Sacramento campus. This includes more shuttles, the Causeway Connection bus route, ride-share programs, increased use of light rail, opportunities for telecommuting and more space for bicycles and pedestrians.

We will create more parking spaces in the new structure than the number of spaces we lose to Aggie Square construction.

The Aggie Square project will include a new parking structure to accommodate new demand.

We were asked about developing a "community benefits agreement" with the city and/or other organizations in the community. Our approach with the city has been a working partnership that plays to each entity’s strengths and reflects community priorities. We will continue to pursue meaningful, measurable outcomes with community leaders and the city.

One question asked why the real estate developer working with Aggie Square was "outsourced." 

This project will rely heavily on the local workforce for construction jobs. The developer team was selected through a public, competitive process. They have a unique track record of success developing university-related innovation districts and a stable source of private funding.

We were asked if we have plans for preserving or restoring the historic Governor's Hall building. We are examining the site now to assess the viability of restoring Governor’s Hall for use as a performing arts space and for conferences and meetings. If we determine the venue could operate successfully for these uses, UC Davis will seek to raise money for the restoration.

We were asked several questions about training and jobs for local residents. One example: "Can you talk about how you are coordinating workforce development initiatives with planning and development of Aggie Square?"

UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) coordinates UC Davis’ workforce training efforts, and Aggie Square will be its new home. Along with other partners in the Mayor’s Workforce Collective, CPE is designing new career development and training programs for the companies UC Davis recruits to Aggie Square and the rest of the Sacramento campus.

For example, CPE is already working with the Institute for Regenerative Cures and a private life sciences company to develop a certificate program in stem cell manufacturing process. This is an example of creating a career opportunity pipeline for members in the community.

We are not acting alone. As part of the Mayor’s Workforce Collective, UC Davis, California State University, Sacramento and Los Rios Community College District are collaborating to identify the skills people in Sacramento will need to get and keep higher-wage jobs, and then developing the programs to provide those skills.

Additionally, UC Davis has held a number of job fair events and local talks in the area to provide information about current openings and how to apply. For example, UC Davis Talent Acquisition held a job talk in January 2020 with the Employment Development Department and Sacramento Food Bank discussing strategies about how to stand out as an applicant, as well as the benefits of starting your career with us. 

Updated information on recruiting events can be found online at

Several questions focused on how members of the community are involved in decisions related to Aggie Square. 

We meet regularly with two specific community-focused groups. The Partnership Advisory Council is co-chaired by UC Davis Chancellor Gary May and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. It consists of elected officials and civic and business leaders and neighborhood association representatives. The Community Engagement Advisory Committee includes representatives from neighborhood associations, local leaders, and rank-and-file employees of UC Davis Health and UC Davis.

We hold regular “open house” meetings as well — all are welcome, and we are open to any suggestions that community members have. 

To learn more about committee representation or when open house meetings are scheduled, visit the Aggie Square website at

We were asked if the project would still be built "If we go into a recession and state funds dry up, private investment falls through, or Sacramento city funds dry up." 

Aggie Square’s construction is fueled by private investment. The private developer was chosen through a public process in part based on its access to a stable source of financing. UC Davis and the private developer remain committed to this project.

Aggie Square’s construction will occur in phases, in part to mitigate economic uncertainty. Phase one construction is planned to begin in mid-2021.

Additionally, the innovative economies of the future will rely on Aggie Square’s model of collaboration among university, industry and community. The model allows each partner to leverage the strengths of the others, reducing risk and providing stability.