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.
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.
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.
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.
Would you consider living there? Please respond with your thoughts.
Photographs by Geoff Bliss. Data linked to sources.