UC Davis Unveils Preliminary Design for Aggie Square

Phase 1 Plan Reflects Community Priorities, University Strengths

A map showing a preliminary design for Aggie Square.
Preliminary design for Aggie Square comprises the components depicted here by color: <strong>Red for lifelong learning &mdash;</strong> UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education and a network of partners and programs. <strong>Green &mdash;</strong> housing and market plaza. <strong>Blue for life sciences &mdash;</strong> technology and engineering research programs and industry partners. <strong>Purple &mdash;</strong> mobility hub for electric buses, bike- and car-sharing, shuttles and more. <strong>Yellow &mdash;</strong> Aggie Square.

University of California, Davis, Chancellor Gary S. May and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg today (April 23) announced a preliminary design for Aggie Square, the new innovation hub to be built on the university’s Sacramento campus. 

The elements of the plan reflect the community priorities that have emerged from meetings with Aggie Square Partnership Advisory Council and the Community Engagement Advisory Committee. These include an intense focus on workforce development and job creation for people in the neighborhoods surrounding the UC Davis Health campus, where Aggie Square will be located.

“When we started this journey in 2017, Mayor Steinberg and I knew Aggie Square should be driven by cooperation and a collaborative spirit,” said Chancellor May.  “That’s the real power of Aggie Square — its potential to fuel innovation when people of all backgrounds work side by side.”

Chancellor Gary S. May and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg at today's announcement.
Chancellor Gary S. May and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg at today's announcement. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

“I’m thrilled that we have reached a stage where, together with the community, we can now visualize Aggie Square,” said Mayor Steinberg. “Now we must work together closer than ever to weave UC Davis more tightly into the fabric of Sacramento and create a place that inspires collaboration and innovation around inclusion, job creation and community development.”

The announcement came at a joint meeting of the advisory community and community engagement committee. Both groups played an active role in asserting community priorities and needs through the planning process.

“Aggie Square is the opportunity for social transformation. Now is the time for targeted outreach to connect and engage the underserved and communities of color like Meadowview, Valley Hi, Del Paso Heights and Oak Park, ensuring full access and participation in economic prosperity.  As a member of the Community Engagement Advisory Committee, I will continue to be vocal in our regional objectives and embrace community priorities. This is a jumping off point. We can all participate — we will not be constrained,” stated Cassandra H.B. Jennings, chief executive officer of the Greater Sacramento Urban League.

The announcement covers the first phase of the project’s development, encompassing approximately 8 acres of the project’s 25-acre footprint. Each element of the preliminary design ties directly to a theme that reflects both a community priority and a university strength. Those elements include:

  • An office/classroom building dedicated to “lifelong learning” — workforce and skills training for competitive, in-demand jobs
  • Two research buildings that will offer state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for life sciences, technology and engineering
  • A mixed-use building that will include “storefront” space for community groups and university projects, student and affiliate housing, and retail — connected to an outdoor market plaza that focuses on food and health
  • A mobility hub that will feature new electric bus service connecting both UC Davis campuses with downtown Sacramento, as well as new shuttle, bikeshare and rideshare options
  • A public square that connects all the buildings and provides open, accessible space for community gatherings

The project’s first phase also includes two new parking structures: one to replace parking that is lost to development and another to accommodate growth.

The preliminary design is a necessary part of Aggie Square’s next step — issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ) to developers sometime in June. A request for proposals (RFP) is slated for later in the summer, with the goal of selecting a developer in the fall.

Aggie Square will also sharpen its programmatic focus in the upcoming months, and plans to host a series of targeted “summits” and working sessions reflecting the themes: lifelong learning, food and health, life sciences and mobility.

Individuals and groups seeking more information about Aggie Square can contact the team by emailing aggiesquare@ucdavis.edu or calling 530-752-9838.

Media Resources

David Wescott, Strategic Communications, 530-304-0611, dwescott@ucdavis.edu

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