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Students embrace downtown living

By Brianne Bauman

February 16, 2012

Within the past five years, Downtown Cleveland has become more like a mecca for students looking for a typical college lifestyle.

Along with Fenn Tower, the University has purchased Heritage Hall and built Euclid Commons to accommodate students living  on and near campus. 

In addition, the university is creating a $50-million Campus Village that will include 300 apartments, a movie theater, a cyber cafe, green space, and restaurants to attract young professionals, faculty, and students who are interested in living downtown.

CSU has become somewhat of a diamond that is bracing the neck of the city. With the expansion and renovations that surround the campus, the community is beginning to look a lot more welcoming than years past for students like CSU freshman Hazem Jadallah, who would like to live downtown.

Naudica Wilson, a freshman, who lives in Fenn Tower, the East 24th street dormitories that provides 438 students with a downtown location that is on campus, likes the proximity.

“Everything is so close, it’s really nice having the healthline in front of the school,” she said.

“All that there is left to work on now is the night life for students.”
Wilson, 19, of Akron, Ohio is just one of a growing number of students who live in or near downtown.

Some business owners say a large portion of their success is in part due to the students of CSU.

“At Jimmy John’s, student business is constantly growing. An estimated 75 to 85 percent of business comes from students,” said Armand Davis, manager at Jimmy Johns.

“If students don’t eat here, we wouldn’t have a job,” Davis said. “We base our hours on whether the students have class or not.”

For Cafe Bon Appetit’s owner, Jay Novak, about 50 percent of his business comes from students and 25 percent from faculty.

“We try to offer healthier, organic choices that is budget friendly to students,” he said. “We have smoked salmon wraps and tomato basil mozzarella sandwich’s that are roughly $6.”

Fenn Tower resident Ebony Lopez likes living Downtown-especially Tower City.
“I love Downtown because Tower City is so close, but I do wish it was more like Southpark Mall!” Said Lopez, 19, originally from the Westside of Cleveland.

On average, Lopez spends approximately $10 a week downtown, while Wilson spends a little over $50 a week.

When asked what Lopez and Wilson would like to see Downtown, both gushed over retail stores such as H&M, Macy’s and even a small grocery store in Tower City, if they can manage.