Student Housing Business

MAR-APR 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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VIE W FROM THE ACADEME March/April 2018 40 Expanding Campus UC Davis is fresh off its West Village project, and is now in the midst of planning a new public-private project that will add 1,400 more beds to its growing campus. Interview by Randall Shearin T The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) campus sits in the middle of California's pic- turesque Sacramento Valley, about 11 miles from the state's capital city. The University has approximately 36,000 students — the third largest behind Berkeley and UCLA in the UC system. However, due to little new develop- ment in the city, housing for students is limit- ed. The university has been working diligently to increase its housing capacity in recent years, adding 2,600 beds through its massive West Village project. Now, UC Davis is in the pro- cess of developing 1,400 more beds in a public- private partnership with recently announced partner University Student Living. SHB spoke with Emily Galindo, associate vice chancellor for divisional and auxiliary services - student housing and executive director for student housing and dining services at the university, to discuss why UC Davis has grown its hous- ing stock so rapidly, and what it has encoun- tered and experienced along the way. SHB: The last time we spoke, UC Davis was in the midst of developing West Village, a mas- sive student housing project. Can you give us an update on the completion of that project and how it has impacted student housing at UC Davis? [Editor's note: West Village was devel- oped on land owned by the university by a joint venture of private developers Carmel Partners and Urban Villages.] Galindo: West Village has been very popular with our students, so much so that the origi- nal agreement was for 2,000 beds, which were built in three phases. Those phases are fully occupied and the developer-partner came back and asked if they could double up some units, and we've done that. We now have about 2,600 students out there. It's been great, it helped the overall vacancy rate in the city for a few years, but we're feeling the pinch of insufficient housing again. That's why we're moving to Phase II. SHB: What's the reason for the pinch? Is UC Davis growing enrollment? Galindo: Yes, we have grown enroll- ment. Our former campus leadership had the vision of growing the cam- pus by 5,000 stu- dents by 2020, and we have just about gotten to that num- ber. At the same time, only a few housing complexes have been built in the city of Davis in the last 15 years. It is important that we work with the city to ensure we have sufficient housing options for our students who enjoy living in a college town. SHB: Can you tell me about your plans for new student housing? Galindo: We have not started construction yet, so we are still in the negotiation phase. But we have picked a developer partner — University Student Living. It's part of the UC President's housing initiative to increase the number of beds available to our students across the system. Davis is part of a 10-cam- pus system and we have our office of the president to whom we all report. The initia- tive came along at the same time when our campus was in need of replacing our family housing. Our family housing was built in the 1960s. We have two apartment complexes, and the idea was to redevelop one and once that was redeveloped then we could move those students. So you would never have a time where you wouldn't have any housing for our student families. The initiative provid- ed a viable option, in particular, for this group of students — student families as well as grad students — who are very price sensitive. In order for us to meet some of those affordabil- ity goals, we also needed to build more and have some at-market units so that they could help fund the project. That's why the project is very large, very ambitious, but it's exciting, EMILY GALINDO Associate Vice Chancellor, Executive Director for Student Housing and Dining Services, UC Davis Miller Hall at UC Davis houses approximately 200 students in double and triple occupancy rooms.

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