What We Heard
Our team met with the following stakeholders prior to and during the public charrette to gather background information, memories and expectations for the area:
- City Community Development Staff
- City Public Works
- City Planning Commission
- Current and Former City Council Members and Mayor
- SACOG leadership and staff
- Yolo County Transit District leadership and staff
- Property and business owners, community leaders
- Local Citizens
We wish to thank the following citizens and elected officials for their time:
Matt Rexroad (Yolo County Supervisor), Chris Holt (Planning Commission), Ron Caceres (Local developer), Terry Bassett (Yolobus), Jose Perez (Yolobus), Skip Davies (City Council), Kevin Cowan (Chamber of Commerce), Kirby Wells (Planning Commission), Xochitl Rodriguez (City Council), Rita Moore (Yolo County Fairgrounds), Kevin Vaziri (Dignity Health), John Anagnostou (local developer), Paul Navazio (City Manager), Tom Stallard (City Council), Lisa Baker (Housing Authority), Diane Adams (Library Board), David Wilkinson (real estate finance; former Historic Preservation Commission), Nick Marin (Yolo County Association of Realtors), Ken Hiatt (Assistant City Manager), Angel Barajas (Mayor), Marco Lizarraga (Planning Commission), Enrique Fernandez (Mayor Pro Tem), John Murphy (Planning Commission), Fred Lopez (Planning Commission), Victor Rodriguez (County Fair Mall Owner’s Representative), Store Manager and Assistant Manager (Walmart), Rochelle Gardner (JCPenney), and Bridget James (Cambridge Real Estate).
Prior to and during the charrette, Matt Shannon interviewed over 30 Stakeholders whom shared the following information (partial list):
- The Mall continues to be offered for sale;
- Busiest bus terminal is located on mall property (94 buses per day);
- Railroad tracks located along west side of mall along East Street (north-south trajectory). These run south to Davis Downtown (UC Davis) and connect to Amtrak station in Downtown Sacramento and San Jose;
- Many state government and UC Davis workers and students live nearby;
- Railroad tracks located along Main Street (east-west trajectory); they start at East St go east toward airport (within about 2 miles of airport);
- Mini-storage facility across East Street from the mall’s west side could be an excellent location for a parking structure that supports park-and-ride to Davis/UC Davis/Downtown Sacramento/San Jose, in addition to event parking for the nearby Yolo County Fairgrounds;
- City’s renovated historic train station (wood) has already has been moved once, and could be moved again to the mini-storage site; and
- UC Davis will expand its student body by approximately 40%.
During the charrette, our ‘Idea Wall’ generated 51 ideas and 172 votes. The highest supported ideas focused on Bike/Pedestrian Connections, Farm-to-Fork Food Vendors, and, Tie New Neighborhood-to-Community Center. The lowest supported ideas included the need for a Recreational Park; a Tuesday Morning Store; and a Job Readiness center.
Most often, we clearly heard that the demand for attainable and affordable housing is paramount to any discussion of new uses at the site along with the need to re-purpose the mall itself. We then understood these two issues are inseparable as solving for one must solve for the other. Our challenge was to create solutions that addressed both desires and needs.
New housing ideas included: Market rate rentals; affordable housing; senior housing; live/work units; student housing (UC Davis); high density, three-to-four stories; and, medium density buildings.
Re-purposing-the-mall ideas included: more restaurants such as a Food Hall and entertainment in a mixed-use pedestrian village with no roof.