News Grand Opening of LEED-Certified Student...
Grand Opening Of Leed Certified Student Housing Development Marks A New Era Of Campus Living At Uc Davis

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Michaels Student Living celebrated the grand opening of Orchard Park, marking the completion of its second student housing development on the campus of UC Davis. Both Orchard Park and the first development, The Green at West Village, offer LEED-certified student living. With the completion of Orchard Park’s 1,500 beds, the Michaels-UC Davis public-private partnership has delivered more than 4,800 new beds, with a promise to redefine campus living with innovative, community-oriented spaces.

A $330 million project, Orchard Park marks a significant milestone for UC Davis, helping it surpass its 2023 commitment for expanded campus housing. UC Davis has now opened more than 6,500 new apartment and residence hall beds since 2017 and exceeded its 2023 target of 15,000 campus beds. UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May, speaking at a ceremony on August 16th, said access to affordable student housing was a key concern he heard raised when he came to UC Davis in 2017.

The Michaels Organization is the nation’s largest private sector owner of affordable housing, and one of the most active developers of affordable, workforce, student, and military housing. Michaels Student Living, which develops and manages Michaels’ purpose-built student housing portfolio, is committed to building spaces that not only provide quality housing, but also foster community, well-being, and opportunity for residents.

“We believe that housing is more than just a place to live; it is the foundation upon which meaningful connections, personal growth, and academic achievement thrive,” said Raoul Amescua, Regional Vice President of Development, Michaels Student Living. “Our commitment to designing, developing, and managing student living spaces at UC Davis is driven by the belief that comfortable, safe, and supportive housing environments are essential in creating the ideal setting for students to thrive. Orchard Park will provide a high quality residential experience for UC Davis students, today and for decades to come.”

About the New Student Living Apartments 

Orchard Park's 19-acre site houses 11 four-story residential buildings and two community centers equipped with study, exercise, and meeting spaces. 

Encompassing 1,500+ beds, the community includes studio, two-bedroom, and four-bedroom apartments for single students, ranging in size from 345 square feet for a studio to 1,134 square feet for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, as well as 189 two-bedroom apartments for students with families that are about 725 square feet. All feature wood-look tile flooring and include a refrigerator, oven, stove, dishwasher, and microwave. Especially important for young families — the apartments include an in-unit washer and dryer. 

Incoming transfer student Shanice Perry and her family got a sneak peek at their new home including the children’s playground and a staged apartment. “It looks bigger than what I thought it would be,” Perry said as her husband and two children also enjoyed exploring the apartment.

Designed With Community & Sustainability in Mind

Alongside vibrant communal spaces, Orchard Park features green areas with heritage trees, bike and pedestrian paths, and a children's play zone.

The development boasts sustainable design at its core, with state-of-the-art amenities, technology integration, and communal spaces for collaboration and personal growth. Anchored by a 756-kilowatt solar energy system, Orchard Park aligns with UC Davis' commitment to sustainability, certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

Project Partners

The Orchard Park neighborhood was designed by TCA Architects of Oakland, California, and the CBG Building Company of Arlington, Virginia, served as the general contractor. The Michaels Organization will maintain the buildings, while the campus will be responsible for leasing, programming, custodial services and landscaping. 

Project Funding
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 sale. The family apartments lease for $2,320 a month or about 31% lower than comparable, newly constructed apartments in Davis, based on extrapolations from the university’s annual apartment survey. Most of the bed leases are in four-bedroom, two-bath apartments, and one of those rooms costs $1,040, or about 34% less than new construction comparisons in the city. Leases include wireless internet service, water, sewer, electricity and garbage services.

Shared August 24, 2023.

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