Student Housing Development Formally Breaks Ground

Officials from UC Davis shovel dirt during groundbreaking ceremony.
<strong>Wielding golden shovels today (Feb. 26) are, from left: Reed Kawahara, director of public-private partnerships at Real Estate Services; Emily Galindo, interim vice chancellor of Student Affairs; Mark Rutheiser, associate director of Real Estate Services; Kelly Ratliff, vice chancellor of Finance, Operations and Administration; Chancellor Gary S. May; Mike Sheehan, interim associate vice chancellor of Student Housing and Dining Services; and Grant Rockwell, executive director of Real Estate Services. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)</strong>

The University of California, Davis, today (Feb. 26) formally broke ground for The Green at West Village, a campus apartment project with room for up to 3,300 students. 

“I’m thrilled to celebrate with our partners this major step forward in addressing the critical need for affordable student housing,” Chancellor Gary S. May said. “Today’s groundbreaking is part of an ambitious plan to provide access to more housing for our students.”

Work on the site began in December, and the first 1,000 beds are expected to be available for fall 2020. At this time, the project is the largest student-housing construction project in the United States. 

The Michaels Organization of New Jersey is the developer, with architectural services by Stantec, a global design company headquartered in Edmonton, Canada. The general contractor is CBG Building Co. of Arlington, Virginia. 

Artist's rendering of new student housing.
The Green at West Village, as seen in artist’s rendering. Construction began in December, but the formal groundbreaking did not take place until today (Feb. 26). The apartments will house up to 3,300 students; the first 1,000 spaces are due to be available in fall 2020.

“This student housing community demonstrates what is possible when the public sector and private sector form partnerships that leverage the strengths of both,” said Joe Coyle, president of Michaels Student Living. “An affordable, sustainable living environment for the students of UC Davis is the goal, and this groundbreaking is the first milestone toward that end.”

Set on 34 acres, The Green at West Village will comprise nine four-story apartment buildings along with indoor and outdoor community space and recreational fields. A 10,000-square-foot community building will house a fitness center, multipurpose room and student support services. The project has a goal of 100 percent zero net energy use on an annual basis.

Plan added more residential beds

The university’s original request for proposals aimed for 1,875 beds. However, UC Davis, The Michaels Organization and Stantec worked together to develop a plan that cut back on space for student vehicles, allowing more residential units. 

The development is part of UC Davis’ new Long Range Development Plan, which projects the university will add 9,050 student beds and house 100 percent of any growth in student enrollment on campus. 

The development is a public-private partnership between UC Davis, The Michaels Organization and Collegiate Housing Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 

When construction is complete, the apartment complex will be operated by Collegiate Housing Foundation, which will hold the ground lease from the University of California. UC Davis Student Housing and Dining Services will provide on-site program and residence support services and be responsible for leasing and marketing activities. 

The first apartments at West Village opened from 2011 to 2013, providing space for 2,261 students. 

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