SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – The Sacramento City Council has approved a plan to commit $50 million to build affordable housing in Oak Park near the proposed UC Davis Research Center called Aggie Square.
The UC Davis expansion project would sit along Second Avenue and Stockton Boulevard once it breaks ground at the end of this year.
“It’s probably the most important economic achievement in the history of the community,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council.
Broome says the investment will bring world-class science and corporate partnerships, thousands of jobs, and over $2.5 billion in economic benefits to the region.
“You’re going to see world-renowned companies from all over the world take space in that location and they’re going to be working together with our medical school, our health care system and entire UC Davis campus on solving long-term health care problems,” he told FOX40.
But the proposed plan didn’t escape pushback, those living in Oak Park expressed concern that the investment would price them out of the area.
That’s why a neighborhood group, Sacramento Investment Without Displacement, filed a lawsuit last year against UC Davis and the city.
In response, the Sacramento City Council voted 7-2 Tuesday to invest $50 million in what leaders are calling a community benefits agreement — to build affordable housing along the Stockton Boulevard corridor.
The lawsuit has since been dropped, according to Mayor Darrell Steinberg, clearing the path for the creation of Aggie Square.
“Aggie Square itself, from its design to the way it lives in the community, that it is not separate from the community,” Steinberg said.
UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May applauded the multi-party agreement writing, “This is a milestone for Aggie Square that will bring real innovation to our region, through jobs, workforce development, housing, industry, and new opportunities for students, faculty and staff.”
And Broome predicts once it opens everyone in the area will feel the economic boost.
“All of the people in the neighborhood will have their incomes rise,” Broome said. “Your entire community is changed for the better.”