Education

Sac State acquires McAuliffe baseball complex for student housing project

University Enterprises Inc. will acquire 11 acres of campus-adjacent land, site of the Dan McAuliffe Memorial Ballparks, at the corner of State University Drive and College Town Drive, from the city of Sacramento for $2.27 million.
University Enterprises Inc. will acquire 11 acres of campus-adjacent land, site of the Dan McAuliffe Memorial Ballparks, at the corner of State University Drive and College Town Drive, from the city of Sacramento for $2.27 million. bharvey@sacbee.com

Sacramento State will increase the number of beds on campus by nearly 50 percent after the university's nonprofit affiliate finalized plans to acquire the Dan McAuliffe Memorial Ballparks as the site of a $150 million student housing development.

University Enterprises Inc. will acquire 11 acres of campus-adjacent land at the corner of State University Drive and College Town Drive from the city of Sacramento for $2.27 million in a 10-year lease-purchase agreement. UEI has selected student housing firm EdR to develop, finance and manage the housing complex through a public-private partnership. Final plans will be submitted to the CSU board of trustees for approval in November.

The site, which will house 1,100 upperclassmen, will boost the number of beds on campus to 3,200. Initial plans for the project include six four-story buildings, featuring two-bedroom, four-bedroom and studio units, complete with full kitchens, washers and dryers, said Jim Reinhart, UEI executive director.

Reinhart said the acquisition of the McAuliffe site has been years in the making.

“The university has always wanted to taker ownership of the McAuliffe field site,” Reinhart said. “We’re landlocked … so to be able to add to the campus footprint by acquiring this site has always been a goal.”

The project is part of a larger effort Sacramento State has made in recent years to enrich the campus culture by adding more housing and amenities. Other ongoing projects include the development of the $91 million Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex, a $53 million expansion to the University Union and the addition of Parking Structure V, which will add 1,750 parking spaces.

Sacramento State recently added an additional 416 beds with the $53 million construction of student dormitories at Riverview Hall, which opened in August. Off-campus student housing has also seen an increase, with the construction of 225-unit student housing complex The Crossings expected to be completed in July.

“There was a shortage in supply of high-quality, modern student housing, and the fact that there will be more of it will help keep the market price more reasonable,” Reinhart said.

Reinhart said the project is expected to break ground in May 2019 and be completed by 2021.

As a part of the deal, EdR must build a replacement baseball complex for the East Sacramento Babe Ruth Little League and the Sacramento Men’s Senior Baseball League, both of which currently occupy McAuliffe, before construction can begin on the student housing. The complex will be moved about 5 miles from its current location to city-owned land at the Army Depot East Park, at Florin Perkins Road and Okinawa Street.

Alan Van Ness, president of the Sacramento Men’s Senior Baseball League, said he’s known about the plans to relocate the leagues for about three years. For Van Ness, the relocation generates mixed emotions, as it’s been home to his league for decades.

“Of course we didn’t want to lose our home and the complex we’ve built for 20 years, but you don’t want to shoot a gift horse in the mouth,” Van Ness said.

Van Ness said that despite his initial misgivings about the move, he's warmed up to the idea over time.

“The new complex will be much, much quieter. We’re right up against the freeway now. We’ll probably be in shock after playing under 20 years of noise,” Van Ness said.

On Sept. 18, Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, U.S. Representative Doris Matsui and other university officials broke ground on the university's new $90 million science center.

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