In 2003, when UC Davis was preparing its Long Range Development Plan, providing local housing opportunities for students, faculty and staff was a key consideration.
Projected growth, coupled with limited local housing opportunities, challenged the Davis campus's ability to maintain its distinctive college town character within the Davis community, where students, faculty and staff can live locally and participate fully in the life of the campus and community.
Two approaches were considered to address this concern: maintain the status quo, which would increase the number of students, faculty and staff commuting to campus from significant distances. Or create a new campus neighborhood, which would enable the campus to accommodate a portion of the projected growth locally while also providing a variety of facilities and amenities for the campus and the community.
Thus, UC Davis West Village was born. From the outset, it was envisioned as a vibrant addition to the University and Davis communities that would include a mix of uses, multiple transportation options, generous open spaces, recreational opportunities and bikeway connections. It would integrate environmentally-sound design practices as well as educational and social partnerships. And it would meet its own building energy demands, drawing on UC Davis faculty research to apply aggressive energy efficiency strategies that reduce consumption while generating renewable energy on site.
This is the community now coming to life as UC Davis West Village. In fall 2011, the first residents -- about 800 students, faculty and staff took up residence in 315 new apartments. Planning for single family homes available for purchase by UC Davis faculty and staff has commenced. The Sacramento City College Davis Center of the Los Rios Community College District -- the first community college center built on a University of California campus -- will welcome about 2,400 students for classes in January 2012. And retail and office tenants are queuing up to occupy approximately 42,500 sq. ft. of first-floor commercial space on the Village Square.