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Davis, California

Thursday, June 13, 2024

New Orchard Park housing complex adds more than 1,500 beds for students

The redeveloped complex was designed to provide affordable housing for students and meet the housing needs of students with families 


By KAYA DO-KHANH — campus@theaggie.org


On Sep. 5, students moved into the new Orchard Park apartment complex, which holds 1,500 beds. Located on the northwest corner of campus off of Russell Blvd, the 11 residential buildings and two community center buildings span for 19 acres. There are currently 980 students living in the complex.

“Today marks a milestone, not just for student housing at UC Davis, but another major step in the strong town-gown relationship,” Chancellor Gary May said at the Orchard Park opening ceremony on Aug. 16, according to a recent press release. 

 Five years ago, the university signed a memorandum of understanding with the city of Davis and Yolo County. This legal agreement outlined a number of goals and commitments to improve collaboration and leadership between the entities. One of the goals was to provide 15,000 campus beds by 2023. Since 2017, UC Davis has created more than 6,500 new beds, which surpasses the 2023 target. 

“We are proud of the collaboration with the City of Davis through the memorandum of understanding and attaining the target numbers captured within it,” Associate Vice Chancellor for Housing, Dining and Divisional Operations Michael Sheehan said via email. “We estimate that more than 40 percent of enrolled students based in Davis now have access to campus housing, and we’re working toward the goal of providing access for 48 percent.” 

The original Orchard Park complex closed in 2015 after 51 years of operation following a facility condition assessment, which determined that the original complex was at the end of its functional life, according to Sheehan. He said that the new redeveloped complex increases the density of housing on the land and room layouts for students. The new complex has 189 two-bedroom apartments for students with families and 1,100 beds available for single students with layouts ranging from studio, two-bedroom to four-bedroom apartments.

“Orchard Park was designed to meet the housing needs of students with family, single graduate students and single undergraduate students,” Sheehan said. “Also, the rents are significantly lower than comparable newly constructed apartments in Davis.” 

The family apartments lease for $2,320 a month, which is 31 percent lower than comparable newly built apartments in Davis, according to a recent press release. Similarly, a room in a four-bedroom apartment leases for $1,040 a month, which is 34 percent less than comparable new apartments in Davis.

“While tabling we’ve had people ask us for housing options for families, and Orchard Park has been one of our go-to’s,” ASUCD Housing Advising for Undergraduate Students (HAUS) Communications Director Andie Tarabzooni said. “We see Orchard Park as one of the best contenders for affordable family housing, considering the fact that since it is university run housing, it’s possible to have rent covered by FAFSA.”

Sheehan furthered that for the future of UC Davis housing, the university is moving forward with another new residence hall project with 600 to 900 beds, with a targeted opening of fall 2027. They have also started planning discussions for a new apartment complex.

Written by: Kaya Do-Khanh — campus@theaggie.orgv