The first group of faculty members to purchase homes in University Terrace has begun to close escrow and move into the new neighborhood, where construction began two years ago.

To be opened in several phases over the next 18 months, the 180-home faculty community will include 58 detached single-family homes, 10 attached single-family residences and 112 condominiums when complete. University Terrace is a critical part of Stanford’s efforts to expand housing options amid a challenging local market.

University Terrace homes

The first nine faculty homes at University Terrace are complete and ready for occupancy. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Located near campus on 17 acres at the edge of the Stanford Research Park, University Terrace is bordered by the College Terrace neighborhood to the west, Stanford’s Peter Coutts townhouses to the south and Stanford Research Park commercial buildings to the east and north.

Anticipation of the first completed homes has been running high. “We are very happy to begin delivering the first phase of nine homes in this new community to waiting faculty members and their families,” said Chris Wuthmann, director for design and construction in real estate operations. “With plenty of work to do still ahead, our schedule calls for all of the homes at University Terrace to be complete and occupied by early 2019.”

Eric Appel, an assistant professor of material science and engineering, is among the first residents to move into University Terrace with his wife and three children. They were fortunate to draw a low number in the lottery that was used to offer space to eligible faculty members interested in living at University Terrace.

“When I initially considered moving my family from the East Coast to work at Stanford, our first concern was the availability and cost of housing,” Appel said. “We feel extremely lucky to have been able to live at Stanford West for the past year and a half. And now, owning a home is a dream come true. We plan to stay here until our kids grow up.”

With the lottery now closed and most of the units at University Terrace spoken for, up to 19 families will move into the first completed single-family homes by the end of August. Occupancy of the first 58 condominium homes is set to begin in October.

The 51 condominium homes that remain unreserved will be made available for sale through a normal list-for-sale process rather than a lottery. An on-site sales office and model condominium for interested faculty members to tour will be located in the first condominium building beginning in October. More information will be available before then on the Faculty Staff Housing website.

“Housing is a critical need on campus and in the wider region,” said Jan Thomson, director of Faculty Staff Housing. “The completion of University Terrace creates new opportunities for faculty members, who along with many in the region face an increasingly challenging local housing market.”

Since its founding, Stanford has focused on supporting a residential academic environment to enhance learning and research, as well as foster collaboration and community. Stanford houses the vast majority of its undergraduate students, more than 50 percent of its graduate students and 37 percent of faculty members on campus. Providing more housing is a priority in Stanford’s ongoing planning process.

Several new housing projects that are open to faculty and staff have either been completed or are currently under way. Stanford purchased the 167-unit Colonnade Apartments located on non-university land in Los Altos in April. Projects on Stanford lands outside campus include an application that is currently in process for Middle Plaza, a project that would add 215 multi-family rental housing units in Menlo Park. Mayfield Place, a 70-unit below-market-rate apartment community in Palo Alto, opened to eligible community members in June.

More housing is also being built on campus. Highland Hall opened in fall 2016, offering 202 living units for Graduate School of Business students. Construction of the Escondido Village Graduate Residences project will provide a net increase of 1,284 apartments (2,020 graduate student beds) as early as fall 2020. Stanford’s proposed 2018 General Use Permit would authorize the university to construct up to 3,150 additional net new housing units or beds on campus, of which up to 550 units could be occupied by faculty.

All the homes at University Terrace are subject to a 51-year restricted ground lease. The university uses the restricted ground lease as a tool to keep homes more affordable for faculty buyers.

University Terrace was made possible through the 2005 Mayfield Development Agreement between the City of Palo Alto and Stanford University. Stanford constructed the Stanford/Palo Alto Community playing fields at El Camino Real and Page Mill Road as part of the agreement in 2006. More information about the Mayfield Development Agreement can be found on the City of Palo Alto website.

The architectural styles of the single-family homes at University Terrace include Craftsman, Spanish, European, Prairie and Contemporary. The condominium homes are contemporary-styled flats with balconies. The complex includes an outdoor barbecue area, community fitness facility, a community building with pool, a central open park and two smaller tot lots. Living in close proximity to campus will make it convenient for faculty residents to bicycle to campus and other nearby destinations, helping reduce the number of car trips needed to and from campus.

The ongoing delivery schedule at University Terrace calls for up to 28 single-family homes and all 112 of the condominium homes to be ready for occupancy in phases by the end of this calendar year. Looking ahead, the remaining 40 single-family homes are scheduled to be completed in phases throughout calendar year 2018, with all the homes occupied by early 2019. Construction updates related to the project are available online.