June 07 2013

U Square Student Development Poised to Open Doors to Public

The University of Cincinnati campus has grown significantly in recent years – earning national distinction for its campus transformation – achieved through successful visioning and leadership in the last decade. This growth, which has elevated the rankings and reputation of the university 17 points (to the top tier of national universities in 2011), has likewise made it equally attractive for targeted economic development that will create new student-centered living units in the surrounding Clifton Heights & Corryville neighborhoods.

Google Map Image of U Square, South side of UC West Campus

Of these developments, U Square – a LEED Certified “multi-use mid-rise” – is on the brink of opening “161 upscale market rate apartments,” located between Calhoun St. & W. McMillan St. The new development, planned in association with the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC) will provide 80,000 sq.  feet of retail space, an additional 40,000 sq. feet of UC office space and 700 parking spaces in two on-site parking garages. It will be managed by Town Properties, a Cincinnati-based real estate development firm with a growing portfolio of hundreds of apartments, condominiums and projects including Kenwood Towne Center. In addition to its diverse retail offerings, U Square will support affordable “deeply discounted rental rates” in association with specific income requirements.

U Square Floor Plans, "Live for Less," U Square Website

The trend of building new student housing developments or “college towns” is of course by no means a new phenomenon, occurring simultaneously in many urban college campuses throughout the United States. But through being built, developments like U Square change the character, and perhaps, the identity of adjacent neighborhoods. Depending upon one’s opinion of current university-community partnerships and associated plans, these changes could be viewed as positive or negative shifts for the future of long-term residents and students choosing to live in Clifton Heights.

U Square, Looking Northwest

U Square, Looking Southwest towards Courtyard

U Square Final Project Image, U Square Website

Either way, planned changes to alter existing neighborhood character involve a delicate interplay of stakeholders in the planning process. For more information on how to become involved in Clifton Heights urban development, consider attending a CHCURC meeting or follow U Square news updates.

Do you think that U Square will be a beneficial addition to the urban design & architecture of the University of Cincinnati community or could there have been a better solution? 

Would you consider living there? Please respond with your thoughts.

Photographs by Geoff Bliss. Data linked to sources.

Geoff Bliss

Geoff Bliss grew up in Woodstock, New York and will soon graduate from the Master of Community Planning program at the University of Cincinnati with a focus in Physical Planning. He holds a B.S. in Applied Arts & Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology where he studied Political Science & Archeology. With broad interests in Urban Planning, Geoff is interested finding relationships between Sustainable Development, Urban Archeology, Public Art, and DIY Urbanism. As a Grid blogger, Geoff reported on a wide range of Urban Planning & Urban Design topics in New York City and Cincinnati, OH.

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 7th, 2013 at 9:17 am and is filed under Architecture, Branding, Community/Economic Development, Content, Energy, Environment, Environmental Design, Government/Politics, History/Preservation, Housing, Infrastructure, Internet Marketing, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Social/Demographics, Technology, Transportation, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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