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June 25, 2024
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Davis City Council Approves Plans for 130-Unit Student Housing Community


Lincoln40, a student housing project that HighBridge Properties plans to develop in Davis, CA, has received the unanimous approval of the Davis City Council. The city council’s decision, which follows the Davis Planning Commission’s unanimous approval of the project on January 10, enables HighBridge Properties to finalize its development plans before breaking ground later this year. The project will be open for the fall 2020 academic school year.

Lincoln40 will be an innovative, purpose-built student housing community designed for tenancy by students and working professionals. A three-story building that will step up to five stories in some sections, Lincoln40 will consist of 130 residential units that can accommodate up to 708 residents. It will be developed on a 5.9-acre infill site along Olive Dr, near the intersection of Richards Blvd, three-quarters of a mile east of the UC Davis campus and less than a half-mile from Davis’s downtown business district.

The site is one of the last developable lots in Davis. Acquired by HighBridge Properties in 2015, it has long been underutilized, consisting largely of undeveloped land along with seven single-family homes, three uninhabitable cottages, and a 14-room motel rented as apartments, all of which were built in the 1940s and 1950s.

“Redeveloping this underutilized property will provide much-needed relief to a supply-stressed market at a crucial time,” said Paul Gradeff, managing director of HighBridge Properties. “Davis’s rental market is in such crisis that students are renting couches or are even homeless.”

Lincoln40 apartment units will be fully furnished and available in three-, four- and five-bedroom/bathroom floor plans. The property will feature private study areas as well as other in-unit and common-area amenities, such as a fitness facility, a game room, a café lounge, an outdoor swimming pool with cabanas, and outdoor lounges with barbecue stations and gas fire pits.

With bicycling a popular transit mode in Davis, Lincoln40 will provide secured bike storage space for every tenant as well a bike-maintenance facility. On-site bike- and ride-sharing programs also will be available. The building itself is designed to achieve LEED Gold equivalency for energy efficiency and other green-building features.

To address the affordability needs of students, Lincoln40 will offer LincolnLift, a student rental-assistance program that is the first of its kind in Davis and perhaps the nation. Unlike traditional affordable-housing programs, which are not geared toward students, LincolnLift will offer reduced monthly rents to students only based on 50% to 60% of the local area’s median household income. The program will be available for up to 10% of the property’s student residents.

HighBridge, which is based in Northern California, has engaged Holiday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. to assist it in securing construction equity and debt financing for the project. Patrick M. Burger with HFF will lead that effort.

Davis, located 75 miles northeast of San Francisco and 15 miles west of Sacramento, is home to the University of California, Davis, and its 38,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The city of approximately 70,000 historically has had a limited supply of residential properties available for rent due to slow-growth policies and lengthy approval processes. The residential vacancy rate currently stands at a minuscule 0.2%.

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