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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Solano and Orchard Parks Apartment Complexes to close in the near future

Family and graduate student housing apartment complexes Orchard and Solano Parks will be closing in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

This separation of closure is to facilitate a transition for existing graduate students living on campus. These complexes are managed by UC Davis Student Housing and will be redeveloped.

This means that properties will be closed, demolished and replaced by a new building to serve a similar purpose, said Ramona Hernandez, director for business services in Student Housing.

 “Orchard and Solano are old, antiquated buildings,” Hernandez said in an e-mail. “They 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.”

Solano Park will be redeveloped and returned to the campus for other use.

In lieu of the closing complexes Student Housing is currently looking for a third-party developer to build, own and manage an apartment complex for families and single graduate students at the Castilian residence halls, which were closed in June 2011, according to Hernandez.

The Castilian Redevelopment project will open up with 250 spaces for graduate students in time for the closure of Orchard Park in 2014.

Solano Park is located at the southeast corner of campus and Orchard Park is located at the northwest corner. Both complexes have at least 200 unfurnished buildings with amenities that include laundry and storage space facilities, an office and a community center.

According to the Student Housing website, Solano Park has a deposit of $150. A two-bedroom costs about $838 per month and a one-bedroom costs about $716 a month. At Orchard Park, the cost of a two-bedroom is also $838 per month and there is no one-bedroom apartments. These costs are expected to rise next year from $838 to $850 per month.

The Orchard Park and Solano Park apartment complexes are popular among families and graduate students because of their affordability, close proximity to campus and safe environments.

“I think the most attractive aspects of Solano Park would be the location, price and community feeling,” said Daniel Moglen, a linguistics graduate student who showed interest in living at Solano Park. “I’ve looked at the Davis rental market quite a bit, and haven’t found anything that matches the value of the Parks.”

Because of these amenities there typically is a long waiting list. Priority is given to students with children first, married/domestic couples second, graduate students sans children third and undergraduate students sans children last.

Moglen is a part of a focus group that met up with Yackzan Group, Inc., a potential developer for the Castilian project, last week to discuss the necessities of graduate students who will be living at Castilian.

Yackzan is a local land development and property management company and the other company that could potentially develop Castilian is a huge billion dollar enterprise, said Moglen.

“We currently manage over 300 residential units across Davis and Sacramento communities,” the Yackzan website stated. “Our goal is to provide excellent service and to take the time necessary to understand the unique needs of our clients.”

“The needs that we [grad students] have are different from those of undergrads in terms of housing,” Moglen said. “It is not uncommon for grad students to have spouses and/or children, and we are older too, so our needs are different.”

Discussions of the layout of the proposed apartment, rent, car/bike parking and other amenities were brought to the table in which Yackzan was attentive of, Moglen said.

Affordable housing is a prominent issue among many students and the closing of these affordable housing units raises some concern on the future existence of more affordable homes.

“Davis needs more affordable housing, and the University should be on the forefront of providing and advocating affordable housing opportunities to students,” Moglen said. “With the attempted closure of the Domes and the construction of West Village, this has not been apparent.”

MEE YANG can be reached at city@theaggie.org

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