Orchard Park Redevelopment Frequently-Asked Questions

Updated August 2019

Project Advisory Committee

What is the purpose of this committee and to what end is this process leading?

The Executive 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.


What is the estimated completion date for the project? When can students move in?

The project is currently targeting an August 2022 opening. A more detailed timeline will be available in the future.

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 is working with 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. Therefore a public-private partnership model is being used. As a P3 project, the development partner will utilize tax-exempt bond funding to support the project.

Project Details

Who is responsible for this 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 an Executive 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 2018-2019 academic year, the residential rental market in Davis had a 0.4% vacancy rate for units leaded by the unit and a 0.7% vacancy rate for bed leases. 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.

How many apartments will be built?

The exact number of apartments will not be known until a design plan has been selected. The target is 200 two-bedroom apartments reserved for families, and 1,100 bedrooms for single graduate students.

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. There is discussion of a community center with an open space design, as well as a playground.

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 part of the portfolio of projects that will provide on-campus housing for 48% of the Davis-based student population by academic year 2030. 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 3,300 additional students at The Green (1,000 in 2020, 2,300 in 2021), 400 additional students in Yosemite Hall (2019), and 800 additional students in Shasta (2021).

How were the developers chosen?

This project is part of the UC President's Student Housing Initiative. Through the initiative, UC expects to expand the pool of student housing over the next four years, and to accelerate the timetable for completing student housing developments that are already in the planning phase. The overarching goals of the effort are twofold: First, to ensure that each of UC's campuses has sufficient housing for its growing student populace; and second, to keep housing as affordable as possible for UC students.

Six of the eight developers submitted proposals in response to the November 15, 2016 RFP.

The developer selection committee was comprised of campus stakeholders including current UC Davis graduate students and representatives from Graduate Studies, Housing and Dining Services, Real Estate Services, Campus Planning, and Design and Construction Management. The committee members reviewed the proposals submitted in response to the RFP, held initial interviews, hosted campus meetings with the development teams, provided feedback to the developers, and conducted in-depth interviews.


Will rents be raised? If so, when? (Update Needed)

Exact rents will not be known until a ground lease is negotiated with the selected development partner.

Will certain student populations be given priority in Orchard Park housing?

Yes, current Solano park residents, graduate students and students with families will be offered priority in Orchard Park.

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.

Who will be handling the contracts and leases?

Student Housing and Dining Services will manage the contracts and leases.

Will there be a program?

Yes, there will be a program similar to Solano Park that is coordinated by Student Housing and Dining Services. More information will be determine when the Park opens.

Next Steps

What is the status of the project?

Refer to Project Updates for more information.