Story updated 11/10/2011 at 3:19pm
The downtown building once used to ease housing congestion at UC Santa Cruz is now closed. As of this academic year, the University Inn, located at 611 Ocean Street, is no longer a housing option for students.
On Nov. 1, BPR Properties, a company that works in ground-up development projects and purchasing landmark properties, bought the University Inn from Seagate Properties of San Rafael, Calif. for an undisclosed amount. BPR Properties owns several local hotels, such as the Best Western All Suites Inn and the Holiday Inn Express in Santa Cruz.
Perry Patel, principal at BPR Properties, released a statement in regard to the purchase of the University Inn.
“Santa Cruz is an iconic vacation destination and we have big plans for the property,” Patel said.
The University Inn was originally designed in the 1950s as a Holiday Inn. Seagate Properties leased the property to the university in 2001 for a 10-year period to serve as an off-campus housing option.
According to the Comprehensive Settlement Agreement that took effect Aug. 15, 2008, the university agreed to not renew the current lease after the first 10-year term. David Keller, director of UCSC housing services and facilities, said the closing of the University Inn will not impact students very much.
“The student bed spaces are not as urgently needed as they were at the time we executed the lease, due to construction of new bed spaces on campus,” Keller said.
The university still offers a number of other housing options for students, including the University Town Center on Pacific Avenue, he said. Prior to the University Inn closing, 140 students lived there, occupying roughly 80 percent of the 172 available rooms.
The renovation of the property is expected to be complete in 2012. Patel mentioned there are two similar projects underway in Palo Alto and Berkeley.
“Like those two restoration projects, we plan on creating a high quality, full-service property that reflects the values and ideals of the community,” he said.
Scott Collins, assistant to the city manager of Santa Cruz, said the new project will ease one of the city’s reoccurring issues.
“With hotel occupancy rates in Santa Cruz surpassing 71 percent this summer, up 6 percent compared to 2010, the reopening of the University Inn will help satisfy growing market demand,” Collins said.
As owners of the University Inn, BPR Properties plans to develop the Inn to meet the needs of its visitors.