UPDATED: Chapman Breaks Ground on Dormitory Building Slated to Help With Party Conflict

Villa Park Orchards Packinghouse Dormitories

An architect’s concept drawing of Chapman University’s planned dormitories at Villa Park Orchards Association Packinghouse site. (Courtesy of thepantheronline.com)

Chapman University offered little downtime for the demolition of a historic shade structure at the Villa Park Orchards Packing House after the relocation of the Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market.

The original portion of the packing house was constructed in 1918 by the Santiago Orange Growers Association. SOGA sold the packing house site in 1967 to the Villa Park Orchards Association.

By Jan. 6, the metal shade structure was a heap of twisted metal and construction crews were dismantling two 1920 structures, a former auto/truck maintenance building and fertilizer storage building for relocation. Crews raised the structures onto metal beams that ride on wheels. A moving date hasn’t been announced.


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Ex-President Jim Doti said only Chapman was in a financial position to take on the expense of relocating the accessory structures.

This construction makes way for the construction of a 402-bed dormitory building that was endorsed by the Old Towne Preservation Association, which relentlessly lobbied for more university-owned student housing

OHG Executive Director Megan Penn has taken the relocation in stride. Voted the best 2017 Farmers Market by readers of the Orange County Register, the market was packed on Saturday despite its new digs.

The Farmers Market’s relocation follows the groundbreaking of a 611-space Metrolink parking structure about half a block away at Maple Avenue and Cypress Street, which has been planned for more than a decade.

The city of Orange also recently purchase two historic houses on the 100 block of N. Cypress Street. The city is allowing residents of these homes to rent but the structures’ future is in question.

Unquestionably, the Farmers’ Market move will make hundreds of beds available to Chapman students. But the long-term question is whether the Packinghouse development, in addition to the purchase of the 900-bed Chapman Grad Apartment Complex in Anaheim, will assuage Orange residents’ complaints regarding house parties.

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