Student housing project faces hurdles


Courtesy of Pablo Manzo

The conceptual design of the student housing complex by Eden Housing. The project will be built at 7800 W Stockton Blvd., which is within one mile of the campus.

The design for the affordable student housing project located within one mile of the campus has been delayed due to increased construction and labor costs, the developer of the project said.

The design with non-profit developer, Eden Housing, was set to be completed by spring of this year, according to an article published by The Connection.

Associate Director of Real Estate Development at Eden Housing Charles Liuzzo said the project has been facing difficulty such as supply chain issues, high interest rates and labor shortages that require the design being reconfigured. Liuzzo said they are trying to provide versatility to the Cosumnes River College population within the design of their project.

“What we’re really trying to do is build in versatility to the design,” Liuzzo said. “We’re trying to build in flexibility to balance the requirements of the state program versus the needs of CRC’s population and also the diversity of CRC’s population.”

Liuzzo also said the design was intended to stray away from traditional dormitories and try new things.

“We’re using all of our creativity to not go in that direction,” Liuzzo said.

Liuzzo added that they want to set the standard of that flexibility by tailoring its project to the needs of the community and not use a “cookie cutter” design.

“Let’s try to be mindful that every community is different,” Liuzzo said. “There’s different population types, different groups out there and let’s try to meet those community needs instead of just checking boxes and meeting the requirements of rules and regulations.”

Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities Management Pablo Manzo said the process can be challenging with the Division of the State Architect once the design is in review.

“It’s not as simple as some folks think. Once we finish the design, then we have to submit it to the state architect,” Manzo said. “They review the building for structural, fire life safety and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. That review typically takes six months.”

Manzo also said CRC is one of the first schools to receive a state grant in California going towards affordable student housing and there has been little restriction on creative freedom with the design from the DSA.

“This is going to be among the first student housing projects that DSA will ever have done, so it’s going to be a little bit of a learning curve for them as well,” Manzo said. “I would anticipate that it would add a little time to the process as well.”

As for the project’s size, Manzo said the estimated 90-100 units will require a minimum of 147 beds to meet the state’s requirements.

Manzo added construction could possibly start as soon as the middle of 2024 if weather and cost permit.

Manzo said the facility is supposed to be self-sustaining, meaning that it makes enough revenue to maintain itself.

“We’re not in it to make money, but we certainly want to make enough to keep the facility nice,” Manzo said. “Even if we break even, that’s fine, as long as we’re able to maintain a nice facility and make sure our students are comfortable and safe.”