ASUCD Senate endorses Nishi Gateway Project

Open land that the Nishi Project will utilize to create more housing, specifically for students, in the Davis area. (MONICA CHAN / AGGIE)
Open land that the Nishi Project will utilize to create more housing, specifically for students, in the Davis area. (MONICA CHAN / AGGIE)

Project to offer more housing, employment opportunities for students

On Feb. 4, the ASUCD Senate endorsed the Nishi Gateway Project in an 11-1-0 vote. The student senators claimed to endorse the project because of its ability to create more housing for students and bring small businesses to the Davis area, which would increase job opportunities for college students.

ASUCD Senator Anas Tresh, a third-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior major, sees the project as a great opportunity because it will open up research positions for students. He also believes the increase in employment opportunities will boost the Davis economy.

“From my perspective, it made sense to me because this was a plot of land that was underutilized, and it was growing wheat on some part of it, but that wasn’t even maintained. And they’re going to be taking this land and making something useful out of it by doing many things like adding 1,500 beds for students such as myself who struggle to find housing due to how little vacancy there is and how much demand there is,” Tresh said. “It was a multitude of all of these things; it just made sense to me to vote to endorse this project.”

Tim Ruff, managing partner of the Nishi Gateway Project, expressed excitement over the endorsement from ASUCD.

“The endorsement from the students is huge,” Ruff said. “We’re a university town and I think most people that live here, whether they’re students or professors, just want to live in a university town. So, any support we can get from the university, from the professors or the employees, is a great signal to the community.”

According to Ruff, by making use of the 46 acres of land at the West End of Olive Drive in Davis, Nishi would provide beds for UC Davis students, which would be able to cover 35 percent of the university’s projected future student population. Due to the close proximity of the land to the university and downtown, as well as the project’s close access to local bus stops, students will be able to live there without needing a car. The project also plans to include road and bike lane improvements. Over 1,500 permanent jobs are expected to be created as a result of this project, which will include part-time jobs as well as research positions for students.

The project will also develop energy-efficient buildings, which, according to Ruff, can help lower the cost of living for students by $7,000 a year.

Rosy Martinez, a second-year human development student, said that she is very excited for the opportunities that Nishi Gateway will provide for students in housing and employment.

“I think it’s great. This means there will be less competition and more listing for apartments, which is a personal issue that I’ve had to deal with before,” Martinez said.

On Feb. 16, the Davis City Council voted to put the project on the June 7 ballot for the voters of Davis to decide.

Written by: Sangeetha Ramamurthy – campus@theaggie.org