At December’s City Council Meeting, our elected leaders voted unanimously to approve the sale of a $6.5 million surplus property to Chapman University. The plan for the property is student housing. Respect Orange supports this transaction because it is a step in our recommendation of 90% of the student population in Chapman owned housing. However, we are cautiously optimistic about the impacts due to the proximity of the educational campus.
The uniqueness of this property is that it is outside of Old Town Orange – way outside of Old Towne and about 3 miles to the West. The property, located Panther Village adjacent, allows The University very little restriction in regards to building limits, specially height restrictions. This means that more students can be housed at this location because The University can develop vertically (think apartment tower). But will this solve the problems and negative impacts Chapman University expansion has had on Old Towne Orange? Will students want to move out of the Old Towne neighborhood, where they can walk/bike to the educational campus in exchange for a commute either by car or by bus? Parking and vehicle congestion is already a major issue in Old Towne, will more cars be driving into Old Towne and does CU have the parking infrastructure to support this?
Respect Orange supports the land purchase and supports the students at Chapman University. We want to ensure the student’s college campus experience is not compromised. We hope that Chapman University can have the infrastructure and, more importantly, the amenities students want to create the perfect college experience. Reach more about the Panther Village experiences here and here.