Aggie Square community benefits agreement commits $50 million to affordable housing, local hiring and more

The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday approved a comprehensive Community Benefits Partnership Agreement (CBPA) for the upcoming $1.1 billion Aggie Square project.

The agreement is part of an ongoing effort to ensure the upcoming innovation district — a partnership between UC Davis, developer Wexford Science & Technology and the City — not only boosts the local economy but also provides meaningful access to jobs, affordable housing and other benefits for residents of the surrounding neighborhoods, officials said.

Located at Stockton Boulevard and Second Avenue, mostly on property owned by UC Davis, Aggie Square would expand the university’s Sacramento campus, creating a state-of-the-art hub for research, innovation and education.

The City Council on Tuesday also approved the establishment of an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD) to assist in the funding of the project. As part of the EIFD, the City would redirect $30 million in future property taxes generated by Aggie Square back into the development of the project, with UC Davis funding the majority of the cost.

“This is a catalyst for the community,” Vice Mayor Jay Schenirer, who represents the district, said Tuesday. “These intentional and proactive agreements – for community benefits, critical infrastructure and for affordable housing in the Stockton Boulevard neighborhoods — all are the beginning, not an end.”

“This project and community benefits agreement will give residents an opportunity for more than a job,” said Councilmember Eric Guerra. They will provide “real economic mobility.”

“In addition to good paying jobs to residents in the immediate area, Aggie Square will provide opportunities for students to explore future careers in STEM related fields,” Guerra continued. “There is still work to do to ensure this project directly uplifts our residents, but this CBPA creates a roadmap of how we will work together as Aggie Square develops.”

Crafted by UC Davis Chancellor Gary May, Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Schenirer and Guerra, the agreement from UC Davis, the City and Wexford centers on inclusive economic development measures that reflect community priorities.

The agreement includes: Creation of an affordable housing fund with a minimum of $50 million for the Stockton Boulevard corridor; prioritizing local residents for entry-level and higher-wage jobs and providing training pathways to those jobs; and improving biking, walking and transit access around the UC Davis Sacramento campus on Stockton Boulevard.

Leading up to Tuesday’s Council meeting, local chambers of commerce, property business improvement districts and labor groups had voiced support for the agreement. That support grew on Tuesday night to include Sacramento Investment Without Displacement (SIWD), which previously had filed a CEQA lawsuit challenging UC Davis and the project.

Prior to the meeting, Steinberg, Schenirer and Guerra — assisted by the City’s legal staff — negotiated with SIWD on ways to increase the reporting and accountability on Aggie Square and also to pursue an additional City ordinance to require such community benefit agreements going forward on projects involving significant City investment. Subsequently, SIWD on Tuesday announced that it would drop the lawsuit.

Since May 2018, UC Davis, the City and Wexford conducted more than 90 community and stakeholder meetings to listen, learn about community needs and share information about the project’s progress. Below are highlights from the CBPA in response to those needs:

$50+ Million for Affordable Housing

  • $29 million from City of Sacramento and Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency affordable housing resources
  • $29 million from real estate taxes generated by private industry
  • $5 million from fundraising efforts for anti-displacement programs in partnership with the City of Sacramento and UC Davis

Jobs for Local Community Members

  • 5,000 construction jobs
  • 20% + of projected 3,500 – 4,000 employees

To facilitate this goal, UC Davis, Wexford Science and Technology and the City are working in partnership with industry, workforce development groups, organized labor and community colleges.

Annual Fund for Neighborhood Priorities

  • Target of $150,000 per year to support youth opportunities, local entrepreneurs, public art, minority and veteran-owned businesses, and workforce development

To generate early results on community priorities, the Aggie Square Community Partnership – a coalition of neighborhood voices – will set priorities for a fund supported by Wexford Science and Technology.

Broadway and Stockton Improvements

  • Up to $1.1 million contributed by UC Davis

To promote walking, biking and transit use along Stockton Boulevard and improve the intersection at Stockton and Broadway, UC Davis will contribute up to 50% (up to $1.1 million) to the cost of improvements recommended by the City.

The full Aggie Square CBPA can be found here.


Related stories:

Proposed Aggie Square community benefits include $50 million for affordable housing and commitment to hire local residents 
Aggie Square update: jobs, workforce, training, affordable housing and more discussed at Dec. 17 community meeting
This new development project could bring more than 20,000 jobs to the Sacramento Region