Chapman University has closed escrow on an expansive apartment building near Anaheim’s GardenWalk with plans to convert it to student housing. Called Chapman Grand, the residence hall will serve up to 900 students when it opens next fall.
The former Katella Grand apartment complex in Anaheim’s Platinum Triangle district includes apartments in various studio, one, two and three-bedroom configurations and a variety of recreational amenities. The purchase accelerates Chapman’s goal of housing more students in residence halls and reducing the number of undergraduates living in surrounding neighborhoods.
“This newest residence hall signals substantial progress on one of our highest institutional priorities – addressing demand for additional, excellent student housing,” said Harold Hewitt, executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Moreover, acquiring the complex bolsters the university’s housing inventory more quickly than new construction, said Jack Raubolt, vice president for Community Relations.
“Chapman Grand provides an opportunity for Chapman to offer additional housing for students two years earlier than originally expected,” Raubolt said. “With the purchase of the property, we also gain a net increase of 200 beds above what a Panther Village expansion would have provided.”
Among the amenities at Chapman Grand are a state-of-art fitness center, a rock-climbing wall, study rooms and a large outdoor pool area. Each apartment is equipped with a full kitchen and laundry facilities.
Chapman is financing the project by issuing $150 million in taxable and tax-exempt municipal revenue bonds. Moody’s Investor Services recently evaluated Chapman’s financial strength and determined that its credit rating will remain A2 with a stable outlook following the new bond issue.
Prompted by community concerns about the effects of student rentals in the City of Orange, Chapman has stepped up efforts to expand university-owned housing in recent years. In 2013, it purchased and remodeled a hotel-suites complex located on West Chapman Avenue to create Panther Village. Construction of an expanded parking lot is planned there in 2018.
Construction on the Villa Park Orchards Residential Village is set to begin early in 2018. An architecturally sensitive design reflects the historic character of the site, which repurposes the original Villa Park Orchards Association Packing House. When it opens in fall 2019, the village will accommodate 402 students.