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 Community Meetings.


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

The project is currently in construction with a targeted September 2023 occupancy. Leasing information will be made available closer to the occupancy date.

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 non-profit development 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 non-profit 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 involves a long-term ground lease and substantial costs, it requires the approval of the University of California Regents. 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 leased by the unit and a 0.7% vacancy rate for bed leases. The redevelopment of Orchard Park will yield more beds than the prior Orchard Park complex. The new beds are part of the campus plan to serve single graduate students and students in need of family housing.

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?

As of November 2020 the project is in the Construction Document phase of design and is showing to have 613 units with up to 1,549 beds. The single graduate community will be rented by bed. The family housing community will be rented by unit. The breakdown for the two communities will be approximately 189-2 bedroom units for families and approximately 1108 beds for single graduate students. Bed and unit configuration may adjust based on market demand.

What services and amenities will be offered at Orchard Park?

There will be two community centers, one for the single graduate community and one for the family community. The community centers will each have meeting space, community kitchens, exercise room and flex space. The family community center will also have a children's indoor play area and an outdoor play area. The family community will have in unit washer and dryer. The single graduate community will have central laundry rooms on every other floor within the buildings.

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?

The site is being designed to be bicycle oriented while also placing focus on alternative transportation solutions. Additionally, there will be on-site parking with the family community being given first priority. Off-site parking will be available in close proximity.

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.


What will the rents be?

The rents have not yet been defined but the project is striving to establish rents that are competitive to those associated with new construction. Also, the strategy will be to control annual rent increases so that the housing becomes more cost-effective to residents over time. This project is part of a diversified portfolio approach allowing for a wide range of living options and cost options. The diversified portfolio options for families and single graduate students include the following:

  • Russell Park 200 units
  • Atriums 64 units
  • Primero Grove 181 units
  • Solano Park North 120 units
  • 8th & Wake 238 beds
  • New Orchard Park ~189 units for families
  • New Orchard Park ~1100 beds for single graduate students

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 for the family and single graduate communities. The program will be implemented by Student Housing and Dining Services.

Next Steps

What is the status of the project?

Refer to Project Updates for more information.