Hornet Commons student housing is expected to be completed by the Fall 2021 semester.

Groundbreaking for Hornet Commons, a Sacramento State student apartment complex on the southeast side of campus, is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 4. Construction is expected to be completed before fall 2021.

The $164 million housing 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, 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.”

Hornet Commons “will engage the resident students in the campus community and enhance their learning experience, thereby contributing to our goal of improving retention and graduation rates,” Nelsen said.

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 Hornet Commons. 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 ($4 million) and Greystar ($5 million) are sharing in the $9 million construction cost.

Greystar is reimbursing UEI $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 Hornet Commons control will revert to UEI. 

The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees on Jan. 23 approved the final public-private development agreement and schematic design.

"We are excited about adding 11.5 acres to the campus' footprint and thank the city of Sacramento for working with us," says 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 Hornet Commons will replace the 400-bed Upper Eastside Lofts, which currently houses upper-division students, when UEI's master lease expires in 2022. – Dixie Reid