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USC Village’s makeover a plus for students and community

SOUTH LOS ANGELES — If you saw the way the old USC Village looked before the university decided to improve that area of the school campus, you likely encountered a less than spectacular sight from one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the country. That’s not the case anymore.

Three years after starting construction on a project that required 5,600 workers, USC Village will probably be the hippest place to go for students, residents and tourists longing for relief from the congestion of nearby downtown Los Angeles.

USC Village opened to the public Aug. 17 with USC President C.L. Max Nikias hosting an unveiling ceremony that included other USC officials, local dignitaries and more.

The $700 million, 15-acre residential and retail complex will house more than 2,500 students above a variety of dining and shopping options, including a Target and a Trader Joe’s. It also includes a 30,000-square-foot fitness center.

USC Village is the largest development in the history of South Los Angeles, according to university officials, and its opening is a historic event for the largest private employer in the city of Los Angeles.

The Trader Joe’s was a specific request of community members who attended a series of town hall meetings USC officials held while planning the project, officials said.

Located on the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Hoover Street, the Village includes eight residential housing areas that will house 2,500 students and parking for 1,500 bikes.

USC Village is expected to become a new center of campus. Its central plaza is reflective of the famous Hahn Plaza with its iconic Tommy Trojan statue.

The red and cream colored bricks of USC Village honor the University Park Campus’s architectural traditions. The bricks came from the same quarry that formed Bovard Auditorium, a cultural monument built in 1921 at the center of campus.

USC, which fully funded the project, also shelled out $20 million to go toward affordable housing, and another $20 million for street improvements around the school.

USC also saved and relocated an iconic fire station near the project and built a new state-of-the-art fire station as part of the project.

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