Orchard Park set to be demolished

CIERA PASTUREL / AGGIE

Replacement to better meet current housing standards

During the summer of 2017, Orchard Park Apartments will be demolished and replaced by an updated apartment complex. In May, after three years of planning, UC Davis will request bids from those who wish to move into the new complex, which is scheduled to be completed by Fall 2020. Although the focus of the complex will be to provide housing for students with families, they will not be the only ones with access to living there.

The request for proposal for the new development includes a mix of both apartments for student families and apartments for single graduate students,” said Emily Galindo, the associate vice chancellor of Student Affairs, via email. “Students who request to lease in these facilities are required to provide documentation of relationship status to the lease (birth certificate, marriage certificate or domestic partnership) or have a roommate who is also a full time registered student.

Although officially closed and fenced off in 2014, demolition of the property was postponed in order to first receive the community’s opinions.

“At the time the complex was closed, residents and students raised a range of concerns about the redevelopment,” said Grant Rockwell, the assistant vice chancellor for Capital Planning and Real Estate, via email. “We did not want to proceed with demolition without additional feedback, so we paused redevelopment for a thorough consulting and planning process, including a report by a specially commissioned committee on family housing including student representatives.”

Orchard Park was originally shut down in 2014 due to the rapidly declining standards of the area relative to current housing standards, according to Rockwell.

“[Orchard Park] would have required significant capital investment to bring [the buildings] up to current housing standards, including, for example, ADA requirements,” Rockwell said.

The name and exact features of the new complex are unknown as project developer has yet to be selected; however, Rockwell assured that the intention is to incorporate as much of the original property features, while still upgrading the facility as a whole.

“The intent is to incorporate some of the same property features as at the old Orchard Park,” Rockwell said. “These features could include: open green space, recreational amenities for both children and adults and perimeter parking to avoid vehicular traffic within the community […] this project will focus on affordability, facility design and quality of life.”

Daniel Nagey, a second-year managerial economics major and an ASUCD senator whose platform includes student housing, supports the long-awaited plan as it should partially alleviate pressure from the housing crisis.

I’m excited, of course, that new housing is being considered at Orchard Park since the structure is old and in need of a remodel,” Nagey said. “It has been pending construction for way too long. The progress being made year to year is incredibly slow considering the high need for housing. We are in a housing crisis right now and this is not the time to be putting off something so important.”

 

Written by: Emily Shintani — campus@theaggie.org