1752 Drew Circle (South Davis)
near the intersection of Cowell Boulevard & Drew Circle)
Patty Mckee
Summer of 2012

Pacifico Cooperative Community is a student-based housing co-op, located at the end of Drew Circle, on Unitrans' W & M bus line, as well being nestled right up against the South Davis Bike Path & Putah Creek Parkway. The purpose of Pacifico is to provide cooperative, low-cost student-based housing (some non-students live here too) for those attending UC-Davis and other schools in Davis and Sacramento communities. Non-students may also apply. Pacifico strives to engage in safe, cooperative, living that further the principles of cooperation through mutual, self-help living at a minimal cost. To this end, each resident will contribute 4 hours in workshifts per week (cleaning, cooking, gardening, shopping for supplies, etc.), and there are opportunities for leadership and involvement through our two coordinator positions and community engagement opportunities.

Pacifico is also often looking for applicants for their two compensated "Coordinator" positions, who will also be members of the coop. These positions will be given a rent stipend of $250 and full workshift credit for their positions. The coordinators will, respectively, be responsible for Maintenance and Membership services. The coordinators will work with the full-time staff and the membership at large to make sure that the services offered by Pacifico are high quality and  affordable. More information can be obtained by contacting Patti McKee at

There are two separate buildings: C, and D buildings (respectively). [A and B buildings are currently closed.] One's experience can vary greatly there depending on which building/floor you're in, due to the different housemates, and the different arrangements that may have been made or ground-rules in each area (ie, some have authorized companion animals, some are quieter than others, some are student only, some mixed, etc). Depending on whether you want a place to live quietly by yourself or you want a place to socialize with others will determine how you feel about living here. Like most cooperative living, the members are usually friendly to outsiders too. A deposit is needed to secure a room for future occupancy.

Each of Pacifico's two buildings are comprised of twenty small single-occupancy rooms, four larger single-occupancy rooms, two small double-occupancy rooms, and two larger double occupancy rooms, and one of the buildings has a studio apartment for the manager who lives on site. Additionally, each building has a fully equipped community kitchen, large dining area, furnished community living room and laundry facilities. Each room includes computer DSL Internet access as well as phone and cable hook-ups. Visually, it seems more like a dorm (shared bathrooms, communal lounge space, communal dining area, communal kitchen) than Agrarian Effort (etc) on campus, which are structured as houses. Pacifico is home to a diverse mix of students and singles from within the local area, the U.S. and abroad. Because of the low cost, available benefits, and convenience of family-style living, Pacifico is a time- and money-saving choice for many international, transfer, and re-entry students — or for any graduate or undergraduate students who want to give co-op living a try. For more information about the membership and application process, as well as workshifts and other frequently asked questions contact Patti McKee.

Pacifico Basics
Constructed in Summer 2000
Number of residents per building: 21-28
Number of buildings: 2 (originally 4)
Favorite Kitchen Appliance: Rice Cooker
Cost of small single room: $455 (includes utilities)
Cost of living with cool housemates from all over the world: priceless
Pacifico Amenities
Microwave/gas range
Furnished units available
Some pets allowed
Washer/dryer - cheap, coin-op!
Huge grassy back yard
BBQ grill
Orchard with fruit trees
Community maintained gardens
Community living room/kitchen/dining area
DSL/Wireless Internet access

Beginning July 1, 2011, Pacifico officially became affiliated with Yolo County Housing, who bring management support and assistance with cooperative education and community organizing. The previous management company will no longer be employed. In the process, the members of Pacifico have had the opportunity to become more involved in the day-to-day decision-making and there is a growing core of co-opers willing to contribute their time into improving their co-op community and housing enjoyment level.


Davis Campus Cooperatives (DCC) operated two (later four) student housing co-ops on Parkway Circle in the late 1980s and early 1990s, known as the "concrete co-ops." Cooperators and bloggers Sarah Brady and Alfred Twu wrote in 2011:

This grand project grew from a meeting between Davis Campus Cooperatives and the Japanese Consumer Cooperatives in 1988. DCC was a young co-op consisting of two small houses that had just opened that year. From the meeting, DCC received a commitment from the JCC to loan $400,000, which it used to gain support and additional loan pledges from the City of Davis and other NASCO student co-ops towards the opening of more co-ops.

Initially, three identical buildings were constructed to house 84 students. To maximize efficiency, Pacifico used a double-loaded corridor plan with minimal common areas. Small common areas were provided on the upper floors, with the main kitchens on the first floor. A large community building was to be put off until later. To honor its funders and Co-op values, the buildings were named Kyoto, Unity, and Rochdale, though in practice the address letters A, B, and C were more commonly used.

The first three buildings opened in 2000, with the fourth added four years later. The project has always been a student-oriented housing co-op, but many have criticized the initial design. Those who know about the idea of a community building with a kitchen have asserted that building it in 2004, instead of D, might have "saved" the project.

Pacifico was operated as somewhat of a hybrid between a cooperative and an off-campus dorm: the general architecture isn't very conducive to communal living, although it does allow residents more privacy than the On Campus Co-ops. Rather than being fully- or partially-self-managed, like the On Campus Co-ops, DCC selected MBS Property Management, a professional management company located in West Sacramento. Due to inconsistent marketing and lack of education — problems which began under initial management — Pacifico members haven't always identified themselves as a co-operative or even realize that it's a co-op when they move in. As a result, some residents are apathetic to the concept of co-operative living and look at Pacifico as just a cheap place to live. This lead to many problems with vacancies and management, which were not completely solved by subsequent changes.

Over time, however, each house has developed a different atmosphere and chemistry between housemates; and many residents have chosen to live at Pacifico for years and worked hard to improve their house. As one member put it: "Pacifico is a place for personal improvement and interpersonal communication, not meant to be only a cheap place to live!!!!!"

MBS Management and other factors lead to dissatisfaction from tenants and (presumably) disappointing revenues for DCC. As NASCO was both part of the initial financing, and had experience with off-campus student cooperative housing, they were consulted, starting in 2003. DCC sought partnership with NASCO in 2005, and they agreed to take over management beginning September 1, 2006. As noted above, this lasted until July 1, 2011.

There is a Comment Archive pertaining to previous eras of management.


You must be logged in to comment on this page. Please log in.

2014-04-23 12:32:23   Pacifico has changed much over the years. Looking over the history of articles and comments about Pacifico, it's easy to think this place isn't for you or isn't a great place to live. That has changed.

With Yolo County Housing operating as management (with an incredible, proven track record of management)Pacifico is extremely well maintained, with low levels of cooperation that make for an excellent entry experience to cooperative living. Unlike some of our counterparts in town, we don't limit participation to students which means you get a local American student experience, an international student experience, and an older, wisened, American experience...points of view and interactions that many of us find valuable.

We're a great place for short term residents (we're the only place in town that does 6, and 12 month leases), and what we lack in rigid cooperative expectation we make up for in spontaneous cooperative activity, individuality.

Give Pacifico a try. You won't regret it.