Sac State building faculty and staff housing near campus to aid recruitment, new employees’ transition
October 04, 2023
New Sacramento State faculty and staff will soon be able to live closer to campus. A lot closer.
Nine Ten Place – currently under construction across the Guy West Bridge at 910 University Ave. – is a new apartment building exclusively for incoming faculty and staff that will assist them as they transition to the Sacramento region and give them time to find more permanent housing.
Scheduled to open in summer 2024, the development marks the first time Sac State will dedicate housing for faculty and staff.
The University hopes that commitment – and the proximity to campus – will help it recruit a more diverse pool of highly qualified job candidates.
“What we want to provide is a personalized experience for faculty and a platform where our faculty are fully immersed to our campus,” said Carlos Nevarez, interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. “We're taking the initiative to appropriate campus housing for faculty, staff, and their families. This housing project is trend-setting in that we are setting precedence to incentivize prospective faculty to join our campus community.”
Constructing faculty and staff housing has been a University goal for several years. University Enterprises, Inc. (UEI), Sac State’s business auxiliary, purchased the 1.06-acre project site for $1.925 million in 2018 following discussions about the need for such housing among then-UEI Executive Director Jim Reinhart, then-President Robert S. Nelsen, and UEI’s Board of Directors.
“This has been a long time coming in terms of the fact that the discussions were held back in 2017,” said UEI Director of Retail and Marketing Services Angela Rader, who added that the pandemic and other factors delayed the start of construction. “It is nice to see this really come to fruition.”
A key aspect of the project is providing affordability in a difficult housing market. UEI and a third-party company will manage the property and offer rents at about 10% below market rate.
“I’m excited about better supporting our incoming faculty and staff that may feel overwhelmed in moving to this region, particularly at a time when we continue to see rising living costs,” said Tania Nunez, a project manager for Sac State’s Facilities Management, which has collaborated with UEI on various aspects of the project.
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The three-story building will feature 16 one- and 14 two-bedroom units, each equipped with washer and dryer and in-unit major appliances. Building amenities will include bike racks and vehicle parking, a mailroom, and, for an extra fee, additional storage. Leases can last six months to a year, with the option of leasing for an additional year if needed.
“The goal is to be able to cycle different faculty and staff through the apartments so that we can help them with that housing once they secure employment at Sac State,” said Patrice Griffith, director of Real Estate Services for UEI.
The $17 million project is funded by state revenue bonds through the CSU Chancellor’s Office and UEI reserve funds.
A number of factors, including competition from the private sector and other educational institutions, make recruiting diverse and highly qualified faculty and staff challenging, Nevarez said. The Nine Ten Place project will remove one barrier that has traditionally kept some candidates from being able to accept jobs at Sac State.
“It happens more often than you would like it to happen,” Nevarez said. “We’ve got to be very savvy and strategic, and innovative with how to enhance a hiring package to have a chance, but it’s difficult to do. This housing project will definitely serve as an incentive to attract (people to) these hard-to-fill disciplines.”
UEI Executive Director John Melikian said that in addition to helping new faculty and staff transition to living and working in the region, University officials hope the project’s location will also boost recruitment.
“Having the housing near campus further aids in the attractiveness of working for Sacramento State,” he said. “Housing can be a difficult market to penetrate, especially if you're from out of state. This would be a means to help bridge that gap.”
It’s not just employees who will enjoy the perks of living close to campus, Melikian added. Students and others will benefit from having faculty and staff close by and more engaged with University life.
“We believe that this will be a fine project that offers residents a unique opportunity to walk or bike back and forth to work, which enhances the employment and living conditions overall,” he said. “We believe this has a full-circle benefit to not only the University but to the local community.”
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