By Joy Cohan
Trackside Center would provide well-appointed apartments that are "right-sized" for Millenials and Baby Boomers who are looking for a carefree lifestyle. Courtesy sketch
Downtown Davis is enviably blessed with attributes that both serve our community and attract visitors. There’s no denying that the presence of UC Davis is enormously helpful. Furthermore, great dining, entertainment, retail and service businesses and a walkable/bikeable environment add to the appeal.
High-quality mixed use (residential and retail) buildings also are a part of downtown Davis’ success. They are well-recognized by economic development professionals as key to the vibrancy of a small to medium-sized downtown.
On a local level, as the former director of Davis Downtown, I participated in numerous meetings with city staff, elected officials, downtown business owners and community members, where the goal of densification to add downtown residents was agreed upon as imperative to Davis’ economic vitality.
Several recent projects in downtown Davis have added residents, complementing the existing dynamic of mixed-use properties and nearby residential neighborhoods. Continuing this history, the proposed Trackside Center development in the downtown commercial area’s core transition east area promises to further these goals while expanding downtown’s potential to serve Davis’ evolving demographics.
By Chuck Roe
The highest goal of downtown redevelopment is to provide housing in the core. You will find this without fail in any set of downtown redevelopment goals. The obvious reason for building downtown housing is to support local businesses and add vitality. The less obvious is creating a group of residents who speak for the good of our downtown.
These downtown residents are the first to promote walkability, cleanliness, street and sidewalk repair, safety and more in the core area. They are an essential constituency that is largely missing in Davis because so few people are living downtown. They are especially concerned with neighborhood crime and add a 24-hour presence.
People of all backgrounds and demographic category want to live in our downtown, but our supply of residential units is extremely small.
Sustainable cities are dense in the core. This ideal is the bedrock of Davis planning documents. This planning goal has long been our answer to resisting urban sprawl.