Sacramento State breaks ground on new 360,000-square-foot on-campus housing development

Article June 4, 2019Sacramento Bee
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Representatives from Sacramento State officially broke ground on Hornet Commons Tuesday, a new on-campus housing development set to open in fall 2021 at the site of the old McAuliffe baseball field.

Hornet Commons will be comprised of 284 apartments and 1,100 beds in six four-story buildings, and will house upper division and graduate students at 3001 State University Drive.

Greystar Real Estate Partners, the developer of Hornet Commons, said the 360,000-square-foot complex will include a cafe, study lounges, a fitness center, a community room, a pool and parking to accommodate 546 cars plus more than 300 bicycles.

University Enterprises Inc., the university’s nonprofit affiliate, purchased the 11.5-acre Dan McAuliffe Memorial Ballparks site from the city of Sacramento for about $2.3 million. The sale was approved by the City Council in June 2015.

UEI and Greystar spent $4 million and $5 million respectively to rebuild the baseball field on city-owned land at Army Depot Park near the corner of Elder Creek Road and Florin Perkins Road.

Sacramento State spokesman Brian Blomster said construction on the ballfield is currently in progress. Megan Kivlehan, a spokeswoman for Greystar, said construction is expected to finish in June.

The Hornet Commons project cost $164 million overall and is largely funded by Greystar equity, according to the university.

“Now 1,100 more students will have a chance” to live on campus, Sacramento State president Robert Nelsen said. “It is here for the students … They’re just going to get better because there will be more and more students here living, becoming and remaining Hornets.”

UEI will be leasing the Hornet Commons site to Greystar for 85 years and UEI will receive a percentage of the revenue generated throughout the lease, Kivlehan said.

California state assemblyman Kevin McCarty spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony, saying that the new on-campus housing complex would help to open up off-campus housing and relieve some housing pressure in the city, as well as help students.

“The research shows that if you live near college, you’re more likely to go to class, do extracurricular activities, hang out in the library, the student union, be engaged on campus and graduate within four years,” McCarty said.

City councilman and Sacramento State alumnus Jeff Harris, who represents District 3, where Sacramento State is located, voted in favor of the sale in 2015.

“The vibrancy that you get when students live on campus and near campus can’t be compared and it will elevate the stature of this university even higher,” Harris said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “This is real progress for Sac State.”

Sacramento State currently has about 2,100 beds available for students. Hornet Commons will bring this up to 3,200. Hornet Commons is the first public-private partnership in the California State University system, according to the university.

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