UCI administrators reflect on the privatization process and the ongoing partnership with ACC. Learn how this university transformed itself from a traditional commuter school into a destination residential campus.

University of California, Irvine

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) hired American Campus Communities to develop a large portion of its East Campus with a strategy of introducing different product types – each designed to achieve a different goal.
 
Faced with the perception of being a commuter school and desiring to extend its reach among prospective students beyond its immediate geographic region, UCI in 2000 embarked on an initiative to attract students from a more diverse background and a broader area of the state. Another factor contributing to UCI’s challenge in appealing to some students was that over time strong multifamily apartment products had developed in the off-campus market, prompting students to reside there and diminishing the overall campus experience.
 
In reshaping its on-campus housing, UCI established the goals of creating a thriving campus community where housing was a critical component of the college experience. Elements of this effort included a long-range development plan to house 50 percent of all students and providing student residents with a market-based product that met the privacy, amenity and community needs of today’s university student.
 
Through a competitive bid process, UCI engaged ACC to provide a broad range of third-party development services that recast the university’s image through the use of a tax-exempt financing structure that allowed the university to dramatically develop its housing portfolio, while maintaining oversight and direction of its housing operations. In selecting ACC as third-party developer, UCI cited the following benefits of its multi-phase relationship with the company:

  • Market expertise and strategy
  • Cost efficiencies of the private sector
  • Fast-track development timelines and delivery
  • Transaction structure outside of university budget process
 
Beginning with the opening of Vista del Campo (Phase I) in 2004 and continuing today with our ongoing management operations of more than 5,000 beds on the campus, ACC has produced an impressive track record of working closely with UCI to meet the needs – in regard to student housing product types and financing structure – of the university and its housing system. A review of ACC’s experience at UCI:
 
University of California, Irvine – Three completed phases on five sites
 
Phase I
UCI’s Goal: Retaining students from moving off campus and transition from a commuter school to a residential campus.
 
ACC’s Solution: 1,488 beds with private accommodations in studio, two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments
 
Financing: Project-based, tax-exempt bonds
 
Development Budget: $77.5 million
 
Opened: Fall 2004
 
Phase II
Goal: Continue to attract students with a refined product that offered similar community and residential amenities, but as a more affordable alternative.
 
ACC’s Solution: 1,564 beds with shared and private accommodations in studio, two- and three-bedroom apartments
 
Financing: Project-based, tax-exempt bonds
 
Development Budget: $91.9 million
 
Opened: Fall 2006
 
 
Phase III
Goal: Attract a new target market with a new product type – townhomes. Project was designed to appeal to graduate students as well as upper-division undergraduates.
 
ACC’s Solution: 1,546 beds in two-, three- and four-bedroom townhome configurations; 565 beds of graduate housing in Efficiency, Studio, one- and two-bedroom floorplans.
 
Financing: Project-based, tax-exempt bonds
 
Development Budget: $178.4 million
 
Opened: Fall 2009 and 2010 as planned phasing
 
 
Total
Gross Square Footage Developed: 1.9 million
 
Total Development Cost: 5,163 beds ($350 million)

Puerta del Sol

Puerta del Sol

Vista del Campo

Vista del Campo

Vista del Campo Norte

Vista del Campo Norte

Camino del Sol

Camino del Sol