Just down the peninsula from Stanford’s enormous real estate empire, another university is quietly expanding its own footprint.
Recognizing both the value in owning Silicon Valley real estate and the need for affordable housing for faculty and students, Santa Clara University has scooped up dozens of houses around campus. The university has amassed a portfolio that lands it among Santa Clara County’s top-10 owners of single-family homes — a distinction it shares with Stanford University, SummerHill Homes and PulteGroup.
SCU owned $1.51 billion in taxable property as of the 2018 fiscal year, including nearly $30 million in single-family homes — or 44 homes, according to an analysis by a collaboration of local and national media, including this news organization, of half a million property records from the Santa Clara County Assessor’s Office.
“It’s been expanding every year,” said Santa Clara real estate agent Vinicius Brasil. “It just seems like it just gets larger and larger.”
SCU ranks as the 10th-largest owner of single-family homes in the county. The university’s landholdings also include $36 million in multi-family dwellings, $1.08 billion in academic, commercial and other non-residential real estate, and $371 million in equipment, machinery and other taxable property.
Santa Clara University students walk on campus on Oct. 22, 2019. The university has been buying up single-family homes near campus to house faculty members. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)
As do many universities around the Bay Area, Santa Clara University — which had 5,520 undergraduate students as of the fall of 2018 — struggles to house its faculty and staff in a region where the cost to rent or buy a home has soared out of reach of many.
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