UC Davis Marks Opening of Orchard Park Apartments Financed by Collegiate Housing Foundation

August 16, 2023
University of California Davis
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The University of California, Davis, today (Aug. 16) celebrated the opening of its new Orchard Park neighborhood with 1,500 beds in apartments.

Part of the university’s most ambitious housing construction program, this $330 million project has helped the campus exceed a 2023 milestone to provide more campus housing in an agreement with the city of Davis and Yolo County. It is also an example of how a public-private partnership can help keep rents affordable.

UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May said access to affordable student housing was a key concern he heard raised when he came to UC Davis in 2017. “We’ve worked diligently to address this issue,” he added, citing the university’s commitment to build even more housing for students as part of the memorandum of understanding signed five years ago.

“Today marks a milestone, not just for student housing at UC Davis, but another major step in the strong town-gown relationship,” May told about 100 guests attending a brief ceremony at the site.

On a 19-acre site in the northwest corner of campus, Orchard Park comprises 11 four-story residential buildings and two community centers with exercise, study and meeting spaces. It has 189 two-bedroom apartments for students with families and 1,100 bed leases in studio, two-bedroom and four-bedroom apartments for single students. The neighborhood features green space with at least 40 heritage trees, a children’s play area, and a network of bike and pedestrian paths.

To make such a large housing project possible, UC Davis partnered with the nonprofit Collegiate Housing Foundation of Fairhope, Alabama, to fund it through tax-exempt bond sales and with The Michaels Organization of Camden, New Jersey, to leverage the national real estate firm’s expertise in developing affordable housing and student living communities. After 33 years, the university will own the buildings.

Will Givhan, president, Collegiate Housing Foundation, noted that “Collegiate Housing Foundation is delighted to have assisted UC Davis with financing much needed student housing at Orchard Park on the UC Davis campus. We look forward to being a supportive partner of UC Davis through our ownership of the facility for many years to come.”

The neighborhood was designed by TCA Architects of Oakland, California, and the CBG Building Company of Arlington, Virginia, served as the general contractor.