By Andy Fell
The University of California, Davis, today (July 19) celebrated milestones in two major student housing projects. The final phase of The Green at West Village is now complete, and a ceremonial groundbreaking marked the beginning of work on the Orchard Park housing development.
“These important milestones on Orchard Park and The Green at West Village are helping to fill a critical need for on-campus housing,” said UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May. “This is a big win for students, the university and our surrounding communities. It’s all thanks to close collaboration with the city of Davis, Yolo County and our development partners.”
The Green at West Village includes about 3,300 beds primarily for transfer and continuing undergraduate students. The first phase of the project, with 1,000 beds, opened in fall 2020. The complex includes nine four-story apartment buildings, indoor and outdoor community space, recreational fields, and a community building with a fitness center, multipurpose room and student support services.
Ryan Manriquez, president of the Associated Students of UC Davis, has lived at The Green since transferring to UC Davis in 2020.
“I love living at The Green,” he said. “It’s the most ADA-friendly housing complex in Davis — every door is automatic with your keycard,” said Manriquez, who uses a powered wheelchair.
The focus on transfer students also helps build community, he said.
At the time of groundbreaking in 2019 The Green was the largest student housing construction project in the country.
The Orchard Park development is an apartment complex for graduate students and students with families. It will include almost 1,600 beds in just over 600 apartment units and community facilities for both single graduate students and for families. Apartments will be rented at below-market rates for comparable properties. The complex will also include two community buildings, for families and for graduate students. Orchard Park will be open for tenants in fall 2023.
“It will make a substantial difference for graduate students,” said Jonathan Minnick, president of the UC Davis Graduate Student Association. “A significant percentage of each cohort of graduate students will have the opportunity to live on campus.”
Minnick praised the accommodations for student parents in the complex.
“The fact that students with families can be in this community and be supported is just a great opportunity,” he said.
The new Orchard Park complex replaces a former apartment complex that was closed in 2015 after 51 years of service. Over the intervening time, numerous graduate students have worked on committees conceiving and advising on the new Orchard Park.
“I can’t thank them enough for their hard work,” Minnick said.
Because of the scale of the projects, both are being carried out as public-private partnerships funded through tax-exempt bond sales. The Michaels Organization is the developer for both projects. The Green at West Village is owned by a national nonprofit organization, Collegiate Housing Foundation, with a ground lease from UC Davis. The facility is managed by Michaels Student Living Management, with UC Davis Student Housing and Dining Services providing marketing, leasing and on-site student support services. Orchard Park will be managed in the same way once complete.
Andy Fell is with the UC Davis News and Media Relations