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Lawsuit A Distant Memory, University Gateway Breaking Ground

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Some news about the much-discussed and litigiously-scarred University Gateway project: Tomorrow is the ground breaking for the 421-unit/78,000 square feet restaurant and retail project for USC whippersnappers. Readers will recall the project at Figueroa and Jefferson Boulevard was delayed more than two years: USC and developer Urban Partners sued (and ultimately won a case against) Conquest Student Housing, a USC-area student housing developer, for conspiring to monopolize student housing by stifling competition in the area. But the bad times are past. And the USC Marching Band will perform at the ground breaking tomorrow. Woo-hoo!

Official Groundbreaking for the University Gateway Project July 10th

WHAT: Urban Partners LLC., Hosts the official groundbreaking ceremony for their latest project, University Gateway. Luxury Apartment Living immediately adjacent to USC Campus; 421 student rental housing units above more than 78,000 SF of retail creating a new gateway to campus for USC students, faculty and community. The University Gateway is slated to open in 2010....

**Performances by the USC Marching Band and the Hoover Intergenerational Child Care Center Pre-School Students

WHEN: Thursday, July 10th, 9:30-10:30AM. Groundbreaking/gold shovel photo op @10:15AM

This summer, construction begins on University Gateway, an ambitious, multi-faceted residential/retail development designed to meet the lifestyle needs of USC students, professors, staff and the surrounding community.

The property – located on the northwest corner of Figueroa and Jefferson Boulevard – will consist of an eight-story structure containing more than 600,000 square feet of floor area and a nine-level parking garage devoted to student and retail parking and bicycle storage. The ground floor will feature more than 78,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving restaurants and retail outlets with national and regional tenants. University Gateway residents will have access to a range of first-floor amenities including: a lobby and lounge, mailroom, recreation room, fitness center and building management office.

Floors 2 through 8 will contain a total of 421 apartments primarily accommodating USC undergraduate and graduate students. Each floor will contain laundry facilities and lounge/study rooms. Units include: 14 one-bedroom units of an average 668 square feet each and 407 two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments of an average 910 square feet each. Two bedroom units will be large enough to accommodate four students.

A portion of University Gateway’s second floor will contain 3 internal courtyards with landscaped gardens replete with trees, low flowering shrubbery and generous seating areas. Planters, decorative paving and open space will line the restaurant arcade along Jefferson Boulevard and the retail frontage at the street. The building’s aesthetics will correspond with the Italian Romanesque red brick architectural style of existing buildings on campus.

In June 2005, University Gateway Development, LLC, through Urban Ventures, (an affiliate of Urban Partners) formed Apartment Holdings, LLC with BRE/UG Investor LLC (an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors L.P.) to option via ground lease approximately four acres of land at the corner of Figueroa and Jefferson adjacent to the University of Southern California. Concurrently with signing the Ground Lease Option, BRE/UG also executed a retail lease with USC for 70,000 square feet (to be amended to 30,150 square feet) for an initial 20-year term.

“We hope the project exceeds the expectations of USC, its students and all of our partners that made this day a reality,” says Matthew N. Burton, Principal/CFO, Urban Partners, LLC. “With this groundbreaking and Clark Construction at the helm as the design/builder, the project is firmly on track for summer 2010 opening. It has been a long road but that makes it all the more gratifying to final get to this day.”

University Gateway will provide much-needed expansion to the on-campus housing environment for a student population that now numbers more than 33,400 undergraduate and graduate students. The project will also enhance and invigorate not only the University grounds but also the entire bustling downtown district surrounding this great institution of higher learning.