By Andy Fell
Construction of the West Village Expansion student housing project at the University of California, Davis, is set to begin before the winter holiday, with a formal groundbreaking ceremony to come in early 2019.
“This project is part of the significant commitment we’ve made to our students and to the community to provide on-campus housing for 100 percent of any growth in new student enrollment,” said UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May. “I’m thrilled we can move forward in the new year.”
UC Davis secured financing for the project through a bond sale that closed Dec. 13. The tax-exempt bonds are financing the full $575 million of project costs, which is the largest-ever bond issue for a single project in the country.
The development will add approximately 3,300 beds, primarily for transfer students and continuing undergraduates. The first 1,000 beds should be ready for fall 2020, with the rest available in fall 2021.
“The successful sale of tax-exempt bonds is an exciting milestone and represents a vote of confidence by the financial markets for this ambitious student housing project,” said Kelly Ratliff, associate vice chancellor for finance, operations and administration.
The new complex will comprise nine four-story apartment buildings along with indoor and outdoor community space and recreational fields, occupying 34 acres. A 10,000-square-foot community building will house a fitness center, multipurpose room and student support services.
The development project was approved by the UC Regents in July and is included in UC Davis’ new Long Range Development Plan, which projects adding 9,050 beds of on-campus housing.
“Increasing our on-campus housing inventory for our students has been a goal for us for many years. Moving this project into construction is an important step forward,” said Emily Galindo, interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs at UC Davis.
The development will be constructed through a public-private partnership between UC Davis, Collegiate Housing Foundation (a 501c3 nonprofit) and University Student Living of New Jersey.
When construction is complete, the apartment complex will be operated by Collegiate Housing Foundation, which will hold the ground lease from the University of California. UC Davis Student Housing and Dining Services will provide on-site program and residence support services and be responsible for leasing and marketing activities.
The first phases of apartments at West Village opened from 2011 to 2013. In fall 2018, the existing complex had capacity for 2,261 students.
Andy Fell is with the UC Davis News Service