Another UC capital project that seemed like a great idea

From time to time, we have noted that UC capital projects don’t necessarily work out as planned. While we have generally raised this point in the context of the UCLA grand hotel, other campuses are not exempt.

The Sacramento Bee carries the interesting report from UC-Davis excerpted below:

Before construction began, UC Davis laid out a vision for West Village, its new on-campus community, as a showcase of energy efficiency that would provide affordable housing for faculty and students. Nearly two years after the $300 million development opened, it has not yet fulfilled those expectations. Its student apartments have experienced high turnover. Single-family homes for faculty and staff have not materialized. And the developer can’t quantify whether the project is meeting its goal of using no more energy than it produces from solar panels. As for being affordable, West Village apartments have some of the highest rents in town.  …West Village isn’t actually run by UC Davis. The school contracted with private developer Carmel Partners to build and manage the community…
The project received $22 million in public funding, including $14.5 million from UC Davis to pay for streets, utilities and other infrastructure, and $2.5 million from the California Energy Commission to explore renewable energy…
Of course, $14.5 million is small potatoes compared to the UCLA grand hotel cost  But I guess we think big.  Seems like there must be a lesson here somewhere:

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