On Friday afternoon UC Davis released a plan showing it is seeking to build housing to provide more than 2,775 beds, for students with families as well as graduate and transfer students, to open by 2020.
At the same time, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors has a resolution on the agenda for Tuesday for the city of Davis to request that UC Davis accommodate 100 percent of new students with on-campus housing, along with a goal of housing 50 percent of all students on campus.
The university announced, “The Request for Proposals (RFP) released this week combines two student housing projects at Orchard Park and West Village to attract proposals from a pre-determined pool of eight developers. The developers, vetted by the UC Student Housing Initiative, are expected to deliver beds more quickly than the traditional RFP process.”
“Our goal is to provide students with affordable housing options that are close to the UC Davis core campus,” said Emily Galindo, executive director of UC Davis Student Housing.
The announcement comes as the Board of Supervisors are scheduled on Tuesday to vote on a resolution pushing UC Davis to provide on-campus housing for no less than 50 percent of all Davis-based students by 2027-28, and 100 percent of the enrollment growth between 2017 and 2027.
The measure is sponsored by Supervisor Jim Provenza and also has the support of at least Supervisor Matt Rexroad.
“(T)he ‘UC Housing for the 21st Century’ report set a 2012 system-wide housing construction goal of 42 percent; UCD was to house 38 percent of students on-campus by 2012 with a goal of 40 percent,” the resolution reads. However, “UCD’s student housing goals have not been met, with UCD accommodating only about 29 percent of Davis-based students during 2015-16. UCD’s on-campus housing construction has been primarily freshman dormitories, while offering a significantly inadequate number of on-campus apartments to accommodate students from sophomore year through graduation.”
The resolution makes five requests.
First, “The draft UCD LRDP should be revised to include capacity to accommodate a minimum of 50 percent of the UCD total student population in campus housing commensurate with UCD’s growth, no later than the 2027-2028 academic year and preferably well in advance of that date.”
Second, “The draft UCD LRDP should be revised to include capacity to accommodate 100 percent of campus enrollment growth including all new incoming students.”
Third, “To make more efficient and effective use of campus land and facilitate achievement of the university’s sustainability goals, the draft UCD Long Range Development Plan for the years 2017-2027 should be amended to increase the density of on-campus housing by increasing the height of new campus housing to a minimum height of five to six stories.”
Fourth, “The draft UCD Long Range Development Plan should include a timetable and milestones for production of both dormitories and on-campus apartments.”
Fifth, “In order for the project description of the draft 2017-2027 UCD Long Range Development Plan to be accurately described in the environmental documentation that will be prepared in conformance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the recommended LRDP revisions described herein should be evaluated as an equal weight alternative to the proposed draft LRDP project.”
UC Davis, it would appear, pushed out their announcement on Friday afternoon in order to head off some of the force of the Board of Supervisor’s resolution.
While UC Davis has not committed to going beyond 90/40 (90 percent of new students and 40 percent of all students housed on campus), the RFP that they put out explicitly states, with regard to Orchard Park, “The Project does not impose a building height restriction.” It also notes, “Exceeding the target of 1,100 beds is encouraged, if financially feasible.”
With regard to West Village: “The Project does not impose a building height restriction. Exceeding the target of 1,875 beds is encouraged, if financially feasible.”
The RFP also has affordability components. For instance, for West Village, “The selected Developer will be required to provide a target of 1,875 beds of apartment-style housing at a starting rent not to exceed $750 per bed (single occupancy-1 bed per bedroom) and $600 per bed (double occupancy-2 beds per bedroom) in 2017 dollars.”
The project also notes, “Up to 30% of the bedrooms may have double occupancy. This means that up to 1,500 bedrooms may be constructed to reach the total desired target of 1,875 beds.”
For Orchard Park, “UC Davis’ goals for the Orchard Park Project are to maximize affordability, to enhance the quality of resident life, and to provide for exceptional facility design and operations.
“The selected Developer will be required to provide at least 200 two-bedroom apartments (400 beds) for UC Davis students with families at a starting rent of $1,000 per unit in 2017 dollars.”
The RFP adds, “The selected Developer will be allowed to build a target of 700 beds for single graduate students. The exact number of beds, apartment unit mix, number, height and massing of buildings, common facilities, parking provisions and all other design matters will be determined by a collaborative site planning design process beginning with the second phase of the RFP process.”
The press release notes, “The Orchard Park Project will provide 200 affordable two-bedroom apartment units to serve UC Davis students with families, replacing a like number of apartments on the site that closed in 2014. UC Davis also is seeking an additional 700 beds for single graduate students, but developers are strongly encouraged to submit proposals that exceed the target.”
They add, “The RFP identifies reduced on-site parking, taller buildings with no height limits and reduced site amenities as site planning options to increase density above the housing target. In total, this project will serve at least 900 students (plus family members), four times the number of students it had previously accommodated.”
For West Village, “The West Village Transfer Student Housing Project will provide a target of 1,875 beds of apartment-style student housing, most of which (approximately 1,000 beds) will be master leased back to UC Davis to serve transfer students and continuing undergraduate students. As with the Orchard Park Project, the RFP encourages the Developer to exceed the target of 1,875 beds if financially feasible.”
“Each project will help the University achieve our ambitious campus planning and sustainability goals,” said Bob Segar, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Campus Planning and Environmental Stewardship. “The projects will offer compact and connected housing with easy access to academic and student activities.”
According to the release, the developers may respond to either one or both projects. UC Davis aims to identify a developer or developers with whom to begin negotiations by mid-September, 2017.
“To get to this point, campus planners have consulted with students, Student Housing and Dining Services, and the Office of Graduate Studies on how best to provide affordable, comfortable housing for students with families,” the release states.
“We’re grateful to all who participated in the consultation and planning process and we’re looking forward to a development that expands housing opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students with families, as well as our transfer student population,” said Grant Rockwell, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Capital Planning and Real Estate.
The housing projects at Orchard Park and West Village are part of the goals of the draft campus 2017 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) for housing to increase by 6,200 students to a total of 15,600 students housed on campus.
The EIRs for both of these projects will be part of the UC Davis Long Range Development Plan’s EIR. UC Davis again warns, “Delays in the adoption of the LRDP and these project specific EIRs will result in delays of this new housing beyond the planned Fall 2020 occupancy date.”
—David M. Greenwald reporting