Since the beginning stages of my housing studies coursework, a lot of attention was focused around housing trends of residential structures and the people who live in them. While this is an interesting topic to learn about and discuss in the classroom, it has been especially fascinating to observe the somewhat dramatic influence of housing trends first-hand in the neighborhoods around the University's East Bank Campus. Since moving off campus and into the surrounding neighborhoods, six new apartment buildings went up and more are on the way. At one point last year, I passed by three construction sites on my walk home.
After the completion of the first major project, Sydney Hall, it was like somebody pushed a 'develop here' button as developers flocked to the off-campus neighborhoods. In addition to the surprising number of new construction projects near campus last year, the historic Florence Court Apartments were completely renovated and our very own iconic Dinkydome was converted into a luxurious housing complex. With an increasing amount of students wanting to live closer to campus, developers have been scrambling to tap into the seemingly sky-high demand in the mostly low-density neighborhoods around campus. So far, they've been a huge success; most of the completed projects don't have any empty units.
The housing boom around campus, as can be said with most other development projects, also came with plenty of criticism from both students and community members. While many were angered by the destruction of historic landmarks to make room for the new projects, others expressed worry of how if will affect neighborhood housing prices. It was good to see first-hand how one project can produce such a domino effect in regards to development, and how, no matter how beneficial and well-designed something is, there will always be critics.
Photo Credits: www.mnpreservation.org, flickr.com/photos/mspdude/, 412lofts.com, flocofusion.com, limelightapts.com