Now under new management and renamed University Village, this apartment complex sheds its old image.

625 Cantrill Drive

Note: This is historical information; see University Village for the current complex.

Sterling University Vista Apartments was the site of an infamous Davis riot that broke out on Picnic Day in 2004. Sterling University has since been sold by Sterling University Housing, and is now University Village. One look at Sterling University Housing's website, and you'll understand how the groundwork had been laid for this event.

On the Friday evening of Picnic Day 2004, multiple private parties within the complex joined to form a massive event. As Davis Police responded to complaints, partygoers became increasingly aggressive; bottles were thrown, individuals jumped on vehicles, and obscenities hurled. Police estimated the crowd size at 500, and because of this called in California Highway Patrol, Yolo County Sheriff's Department and the UCD Police Department to assist. Riot gear was donned and law enforcement re-entered the complex and fired tear gas as they continued to be pelted by glass and other items.

That was a pretty crazy night. My roommate, a friend and I were giving someone a ride home from another party. We saw and heard fire alarms (they had the flashing variety) as we came up the street, and saw police across the street suiting up in riot gear (apparently a second... or third... wave). Being the wise and discerning undergrads we were, we immediately parked, jumped out, and ran up to a friend's place on the third floor to watch the goings on. We hung out on the balcony for a while watching it all go down... it was kind of insane. Tear gas cannisters up on the balconies, setting off fire alarms throughout much of the complex. From our angle, we couldn't see a lot of what was going on, but we did see bottles being thrown from balconies across the way. It was incredibly loud, with people on almost every balcony, lots of them shouting, either to one another or at the police. After an hour or so, we headed downstairs to leave, but when we opened the door to step out, it was only to discover a long line of officers in full riot gear, about half of them shouting "STAY INSIDE" at us. It was one of the more startling moments in my life. Naturally, rather than staying inside while things cooled down, we tried going out a different way, and made it back to the car in one piece. I think it was around 3AM by that point, and things in the complex were quieting down a bit. And that's the story of my one and only experience with Sterling University Vista Apartments. —TomGarberson

(Please note that other apartment complexes in Davis, Sterling Court and Sterling Pointe Apartments, are unrelated to Sterling University Vista Apartments.)

See Police Misconduct Stories for commentary on the Sterling riot.

Rumors & Ruminations

Rumor has it that a change in management was the reason for the name change. It is unknown whether this bureaucratic change has anything to do with the riots and parties etc. It is also rumored that the new management is having difficulty filling the complex because of the raise in rent, parking situation (not enough spots), and the location. Rumor also has it that the previous management foresaw this situation and abandoned ship when they realized that parking as well as proximity to campus was going to hurt leases from being signed. Many individuals have also complained of cheap workmanship... there are many issues that an architect should have addressed but obviously did not do anything. University Village's party scene had completely died down!