An artist's rendering shows what a completed student housing complex will look like on the site previously home to the McAuliffe baseball fields. (Image courtesy of Greystar)

Groundbreaking for a Sacramento State student apartment complex on the southeast side of campus is scheduled for May 2019. Construction is expected to be completed before fall 2021.

The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees on Jan. 23 approved the final public-private development agreement and schematic design for the project, known for now as South Campus Housing.

The $164 million project for upper-division students will boast 284 apartments and 1,100 beds in six four-story buildings surrounding a swimming pool and a residents’ common building, which will contain a cafe, fitness center, and community room.

Sac State juniors, seniors, and graduate students will be able to choose from 212 four-bedroom and 60 two-bedroom units (all with four beds per unit) and 12 one-bed studio apartments.

“Sacramento State’s existing student housing, approximately 2,100 beds, is oriented toward first- and second-year students,” said President Robert S. Nelsen. “The new housing project will support our Graduation Initiative as set forth by CSU Chancellor Timothy White, while providing our students with academic enrichment.”

The new housing community “will engage the resident students in the campus community and enhance their learning experience, thereby contributing to our goal of improving retention and graduate rates,” Nelsen added.

University Enterprises, Inc. (UEI), Sac State’s authorized commercial-services auxiliary, is purchasing the 11.5-acre site, previously home to the Dan McAuliffe Memorial Ballparks, from the city of Sacramento. The purchase price is $2.3 million, plus the cost of building a replacement ballpark. In addition, Sac State leased the adjacent 1.5 acres of campus-owned property to UEI to increase on-site parking to include 546 spaces.

UEI solicited proposals from developers to build the 360,000-square-foot apartment complex. After a competitive bid process, a campus work group selected EdR as the development partner. EdR was acquired by Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC, in September 2018.

Greystar, a global leader in rental housing, is responsible for building, financing, operating, and managing the new housing community. Sacramento State and UEI will support the project but provide no funding.

In addition, Greystar must replicate the McAuliffe baseball complex on city-owned land at Army Depot Park. UEI and Greystar are sharing in the $9 million construction cost ($4 million and $5 million, respectively.)

Greystar is reimbursing UEI a total of $5.7 million, which includes the $2.3 million UEI paid for the land and other transaction costs. UEI is leasing the land to Greystar for 85 years, after which the housing project will revert to UEI. 

"We are excited about adding 11.5 acres to the campus' footprint and thank the city of Sacramento for working with us," said Jim Reinhart, UEI executive director. "Adding 1,100 beds to the supply of on-campus housing will help to keep market rents reasonable for our students."

Steinberg Hart is the project architect, and Sundt Construction, which is building Sac State’s Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex, is the general contractor. Brailsford & Dunlavey provided advisory services.

The new pedestrian-friendly, on-campus apartment complex will replace the 400-bed Upper Eastside Lofts, which currently houses upper-division students, when UEI's master lease expires in 2022. – Dixie Reid