Frequently Asked Question

PAC

  • What is the purpose of this committee and to what end is this process leading?
  • The Project Advisory Committee (PAC) is charged with the implementation of the vision for redevelopment of Orchard Park, as outlined in the March 2, 2016 Orchard Park Redevelopment Status Report. The PAC is also a clearing house for information about the project in that student representatives serve on the PAC, and the PAC regularly reports out to senior administrators, the Graduate Student Association and the Solano Park Advisory Board.
  • Can students attend the Orchard Park Project Advisory Committee meetings? If so, how?
  • Yes, members of the UC Davis are welcome to observe Orchard Park PAC meetings. The upcoming schedule of meetings can be found here. Students who cannot attend a meeting, but would like to submit a question or concern to the PAC, can do so here. Questions and comments submitted online will be read at the next PAC meeting. A member of the PAC will respond to the inquiry via email following the meeting. The PAC response will also be included in the meeting minutes, which are posted here.

CONSTRUCTION

  • Why is Orchard Park fenced?
  • Once all of the tenants moved out, the site was fenced for safety purposes. Of special concern was access to the site by children who live in the neighboring residences. The site will most likely continue to be fenced throughout the demolition and construction phases of the project for safety purposes.
  • Why are we building new apartments in Orchard Park rather than just repairing the existing buildings?
  • The Orchard Park complex includes antiquated buildings that are in need of many improvements due to life cycle such as: structural improvements due to dry rot, waste water plumbing line replacement, water supply line replacement, window replacement, roof replacement, appliance replacement, furnace replacement, and electrical upgrades. The renovation expenses made it cost prohibitive to renovate the property.
  • What is the estimated completion date for the project? When can students move in?
  • project is currently scheduled for an August 2020 opening. The PAC is conducting a search for a partner to develop the project. Once a partner is selected, a more detailed timeline will be available.
  • Why is the campus delivering the project via a private developer rather than building on its own?
  • Given the availability of funds, and other priorities of the campus, it is not possible for UC Davis to independently finance the capital investment required to deliver the project. Therefore, the campus will look to find a construction and financing partner to help reduce costs to the university, and launch the project as soon as possible
  • How will UC Davis pay for the project?
  • There are generally two funding models used for large, capital projects: university funded projects and public-private partnerships (P3). When a project is financed entirely by the University, the University may choose to use government grants, restricted funds, university reserves or issue more debt. In the case of Orchard Park, there are not enough university resources available to self-finance the project given the other financial needs of the campus. If a public-private partnership is adopted, the development partner will be expected to utilize private capital and financing to support the project. In either scenario, UC Davis has committed to paying for the demolition of the current Orchard Park, at an estimated cost of $7,000,000.

PROJECT DETAILS

  • Who is responsible for this project?
  • over university real estate transactions generally depends on the size and type of the project. Since the Orchard Park project falls within the UC President’s Student Housing Initiative, and will most likely involve a long-term ground lease and substantial costs, it will require the approval of the University of California Office of the President. To obtain this approval, the UC Davis Chancellor will communicate a proposed project on behalf of the campus. To ensure that the proposal reflects the input of the campus community, the Chancellor has formed a Project Advisory Committee that includes student representatives, representatives from Student Affairs, Graduate Affairs, Real Estate Services, Design and Construction Management, Campus Planning and Community Resources, and Capital and Space Planning.
  • Why is this project necessary?
  • During the 2016-2017 academic year, the residential rental market in Davis had a 0.2% vacancy rate. The redevelopment of Orchard Park will yield more beds than the current complex. The new beds are part of the campus plan to serve students in need of family housing and single graduate students.
  • What are the project goals?
  • The 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. Additional information about project goals, as it has been communicated to potential development partners, can be viewed here.
  • How many apartments will be built?
  • The exact number of apartments will not be known until a design plan has been selected. However, potential development partners are required to include in their design proposals plans for at least 200 affordable two-bedroom apartment units to serve UC Davis student families, married students or students who are registered domestic partners; and, to target an additional 700 beds for single graduate students. The PAC is committed to selecting a design plan that either sustains or increases the available stock of student housing.
  • What services and amenities will be offered at Orchard Park?
  • The exact services and amenities will not be known until a design plan has been selected. But since the number one goal of the project is affordability, the PAC expects that amenities will be modest (for example, there are no plans for swimming pools at the site) and appropriate for student family housing. In addition to a design plan, potential development partners are required to submit a long-term property management plan, and to work with UCD Student Housing and Dining Services to develop a resident program. Finally, the ground lease will provide for an annual evaluation of property management services.
  • Will green spaces be included in the project design?
  • Potential design plans are required to include open spaces with recreational amenities for children and adults throughout the site. They are also expected to include a large, common green area and a community building. Finally, all proposed design plans are required to preserve all existing Heritage Oak trees at the Orchard Park site.
  • Will parking be included in the project design?
  • Potential design plans are required to include one on-site parking space for each student family unit. However, potential development partners are encouraged to design the site to be bicycle-oriented, and to evaluate alternative parking and transportation solutions.
  • What is the LEED target for the project?
  • The University of California has a minimum requirement that all new buildings, except for acute care facilities, meet standards equivalent to the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver level, and that campuses strive to meet LEED Gold certification standards whenever possible. More information about campus sustainability goals can be found at the Sustainable 2nd Century website.
  • What impact will this project have on city housing rates?
  • While the Orchard Park project will increase the total number of housing units on the UC Davis campus, any future impact to the rental rates in the City of Davis is unknown. However, Orchard Park is envisioned to be the first in a portfolio of projects that will provide housing for 40% of the Davis-based student population by academic year 2027-2028. More information on long-term planning for on-campus housing can be found here.
  • Are there any plans to increase the number of residences available for students in addition to the Orchard Park project?
  • Yes, the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) Draft Planning Scenario provides capacity to accommodate 1,100 additional students in the Solano Gateway neighborhood. More information on long term planning for on-campus housing can be found here.

RESIDENTS

  • Will rents be raised? If so, when?
  • exact rents will not be known until a ground lease is negotiated with the selected development partner. However, potential development partners are required to develop at least 200 two-bedroom apartments with a starting rent of $1,000 in 2017 dollars. In addition, the campus strives to limit annual rent escalations on these units to the consumer price index (CPI) or 2%, whichever is less. Finally, potential development partners have been asked to either eliminate security deposits, or to propose a plan to allow for security deposits to be paid in installments to assist with affordability.
  • Will certain student populations be given priority in Orchard Park housing?
  • the Orchard Park project will focus on providing housing for our students with children.
  • How will relocation of current residents work?
  • Orchard Park is currently vacant, so no residents will need to be relocated. Residents in Solano Park who meet the resident eligibility requirements will be given priority in Orchard Park. Additional details about resident eligibility, selection and waitlist processes will be determined as part of the Orchard Park ground lease.

NEXT STEPS

  • What is the status of the project?
  • The process for selecting demolition and development partners is underway. Demolition at the current site is expected to occur during the summer/fall of 2017.
  • What are the next steps of the project?
  • Demolition of the current Orchard Park site is scheduled for the summer/fall of 2017.