Case Study

California State University Channel Islands


Savills Advises University on Purchase and Re-Development of 600-Acre Property


Savills has served as the University’s advisor and owner’s representative since the conception of the campus, to purchase and re-develop the 600-acre state-owned hospital (formally known as the Camarillo State Mental Institution) in Camarillo, California. The site now serves as the system's 23rd campus.


Savills initially assisted in negotiating terms with the state of California to donate the property and award the university improvement and operating funds to rehab and operate the facilities. Savills established a Site Authority to own the site as a stand-alone government entity, thus shielding the University from proffers and other jurisdictional obligations as well as providing a taxing authority. Design, engineering, construction and financial advisory services were competed, hired and managed. Tax-exempt bond financing was secured. Lastly, Savills and its partner UniDev oversaw the development of the infrastructure and Phase I and II housing that is now complete and delivered. The sale and leasing of 100% of all units were accomplished upon construction completion. We are now managing the development of Phase III, the Town Center including retail, office and residential development.

The existence of newly-developed faculty housing is being used as a recruitment and bonus tool by the CSU system, which anticipates losing 40% of its faculty over the next 8 years. Moreover, the site will also include 1.3 million square feet of university buildings, planned urban development, recreation facilities, retail, and R&D. Proceeds from Phase I-V residential, retail and R&D development will help fund the rehab and development of academic, administrative, arts and recreational campus facilities.