Public Affairs

CSU TRUSTEES DISCUSS FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR STOCKTON CENTER

The California State University Trustees Ad Hoc Committee on Off-Campus Facilities met today (April 5) at the Chancellor's Office in Long Beach to review and discuss a feasibility study for the development of the CSU Stanislaus Stockton Center. The report was in response to a request by Governor Gray Davis in September.

"This report is an excellent response to the state's request. It provides recommendations and alternatives for the continued development of the Stockton Center. The CSU is continuing to work very hard to seek ways to maximize revenue, but no alternative covers all the costs. For this project to be successful, we all need to work together," said Trustee Anthony Vitti, chair of the Committee on Off-Campus Facilities. "There is a concern among the Trustees about continuing to be the lead player in a development project, and the appropriateness of that role in conjunction with the educational mission of the CSU."

The feasibility study calls for collaboration among the CSU, the state, the city of Stockton, the county of San Joaquin, and other local agencies, as well as private sector involvement. All of the involved parties are currently reviewing the report. According to Richard West, CSU executive vice chancellor and chief financial officer, the CSU will hold more discussions with the state and the other parties over the next few weeks, and anticipates a response to the report in the Governor's May revise to the budget.

"The California State University has been responsive to the state and provided an impressive proposal for the development of the Stockton Center," said state Senator Patrick Johnston. "The report suggests a strategic partnership between the CSU and the City of Stockton to implement the development of the site."

The study includes the demolition of about 378,000 gross square feet to create room for educational facilities, offices, and apartments that could be leased out by a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) to be formed between the CSU and the City of Stockton. An additional 630,000 gross square feet could be preserved and used in three ways. About 196,000 gross square feet could be renovated and leased by the JPA for retail, offices and cultural uses; another 111,000 gross square feet could be leased as is for similar uses; and 323,000 gross square feet could be used by the Stockton Center as educational space for current and future academic and administrative use.

"It is important to continue to provide these educational opportunities in Stockton, and this plan also will assist in the ongoing revitalization of downtown Stockton," said state Assemblyman Michael Machado. "A shared commitment by all the parties involved is the key to success for the CSU and downtown Stockton."

CSU Stanislaus President Marvalene Hughes commended the feasibility study, and said, "CSU Stanislaus will do all it can to continue to provide high-quality education, access and opportunity to the citizens of Stockton and San Joaquin County. I look forward to working with all entities to make this proposed plan a reality."

The CSU general fund budget pays for Stockton Center's current occupied educational space, and under certain conditions, projected lease revenue of about $2.3 million would help fund operational costs of the Stockton Center and the financing.

As part of the proposal, the CSU will participate in planning and development and an Environmental Impact Report (EIR); assume development risks and some operational costs; and expand academic programs for up to 2,000 full-time equivalent students.

The study asks the state to consider relocating some state agency offices to the site, and provide a one-time capital investment of $13 million for demolition, construction and development, and continue its ongoing funding of $1.7 million.

In addition, the city could complete plans to incorporate the site in the city's new development district; fund and assist with the EIR; minimize or eliminate permitting and other such costs; and use new property tax revenues to help finance some site costs.

The county could participate by minimizing or eliminating permitting and other such costs and ensuring that the County Office of Education relocates some facilities to the site. Also, Stockton Unified School District and/or San Joaquin County Office of Education as well as the Private Industry Council could relocate some of their facilities to the site.

The feasiblity study was prepared by Julien J. Studley, Inc. and Metropolitan West Financial and Strategic Services, LLC.

"Discussions with all the parties involved over the next few weeks will provide the Trustees with essential information to make good decisions," said Trustee Vitti.

April 5, 2000