The dream of building a senior community in downtown Davis that meets the highest standards of green building and living is alive a decade after occupying Parkview Place.  There have been challenges, but the concept is working and in several ways exceeding expectations.
Parkview Place at 4th and D Streets in Davis is a small apartment building with four units plus one rental space and several shared rooms for guests, meetings and exercise.  Parkview Place was the first residential building in the city to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum recognition.  Parkview Place has achieved zero net energy status every year, and been a model that students and faculty visit to see how green living works on a practical basis.

After a decade of living next to Central Park and across the street from Davis Community Church, we residents of Parkview Place value greatly the opportunity to live in a vibrant downtown, and have a major research university just blocks away with so many cultural and intellectual benefits available.  We can walk so easily to more than 40 restaurants, performance venues, shops with multi-model options that include bike paths, a bus stop to the airport just a block away and frequent trains to the Bay Area and Sierra Nevada.

Downtown Davis is an ever evolving civic center, and our residents participated in the city’s recent planning update process to chart a bright future.  The adopted vision largely leaves our block on 4th Street untouched, while transit corridors on 5th and 3rd will be significantly upgraded to provide more efficient travel to the campus and beyond.  The plans seek another community gathering place near the train station that complements our central park.

We were saddened to lose founding residents Jerry Schimke, to a sudden health issue, and Kay Schimke, who passed away after moving closer to family.  Barbara and Phil Wagner brought new energy, expertise and artistic skills to our group, and after almost seven years are now returning to Vermont.  Julian Alston, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at UC Davis, has purchased the Wagner’s stake and we welcome him as a partner.

It was disappointing to have to seek legal resolution to a number of construction defects that caused water damage to the building, but our case was settled successfully and repairs will be completed later this year.  COVID also challenged our community, as it impacted so many.  We feel fortunate to have lived at Parkview Place during that isolating time, benefitting from the laudatory collaboration between county health officials, the university’s leadership and Davis nonprofits and city government on data collection and inoculation.

We continue to move forward with green energy. In the last year the energy systems have been simplified to save water.  In the future, we may use EV batteries or a stationary battery to store surplus electricity useful for “load leveling” and during power outages.  We continue to offer public tours of our technical systems and vision for a self-governing green community.

The original partners who came to Parkview Place as emerging seniors are somewhat surprised to be ten years older now.  Despite some ups and downs with health, there is still room to learn more about living together in community, and do so in a way that makes our town, nation and planet a better place for all.