UCSB Buys the Francisco Torres 19-Acre Complex in Isla Vista
UC Santa Barbara last month successfully closed escrow on the purchase of privately owned and operated Francisco Torres student-housing complex in Isla Vista. The campus added more than 19 acres, two high-rise residence halls, and 1,300 beds to its holdings with the purchase from W9/Roy Real Estate LLC of New Town Square, Penn.
Fees paid by residents of UCSB student housing will cover all of the costs associated with the purchase, renovation, and operation of the complex.
This was the third attempt by UCSB to purchase the complex. Previously, the most recent bid was in 1999.
The complex is expected to be integrated into UCSB's housing system by fall 2003. "University ownership of this property will also allow for its incorporation into the campus residence-hall renewal and refurbishment program," said Everett Kirkelie, associate vice chancellor, administrative services.
Repairs and upgrades will begin next summer, said Willie Brown, executive director of Housing and Residential Services. "We expect both towers of Francisco Torres to be completely modernized by fall 2004. By that time, H&RS will be able to house all freshmen students in UCSB-owned facilities."
Built in 1966, the Francisco Torres residential complex has been affiliated with UCSB but has never been under the university's management or supervision. The complex is located on El Colegio Road at the intersection of Storke Road, and is situated on 19.23 acres of land. It includes two high-rise buildings--one 10 stories tall and the other 11 stories--with a total of 1,325 beds in 672 units. A dining commons, multipurpose rooms, more than 700 parking spaces, and outdoor recreational areas are also included.
"In purchasing this property, we are making a strong commitment to the quality of life of our students," said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "The university welcomes this opportunity to extend a full complement of academic and student-life services and programs to residents of this complex."
The university anticipates offering student-support services at the complex and will explore the possibility of scheduling courses and class discussion groups there.
"We've begun to focus more of our academic-advising efforts on first-year students, who traditionally have made up a majority of the residents of this complex," said Alan J. Wyner, dean of undergraduate studies in the College of Letters and Science.
The university will study the possibility of opening academic-advising offices in the residence complex during class registration periods to assist students in making course selections and planning their curricula. In addition, satellite offices of student-life services and programs might be established in the complex.
The acquisition of Francisco Torres will provide a direct link between UCSB's West Campus and its main campus. UCSB anticipates working with local agencies to ensure a positive transition of ownership to the university.