Monday, November 12, 2012

Young residents one of the keys to downtown revival

Mayor Mike Houston took up the theme of young people living downtown while introducing the downtown Springfield Sustainable Design Assessment Team report. A natural source of 20-something shoppers, pedestrians and residents, he said, is at the University of Illinois Springfield.

UIS has state government interns, the mayor reasoned, and interns might like to live near state government.

“An ideal situation for UIS students would be some type of housing that would allow them to walk to work,” Houston said.

The idea isn’t entirely farfetched, said Edward Wojcicki, UIS associate chancellor of constituent relations.

Wojcicki said a survey of UIS graduate students early this year found they would like to see options for living downtown.

“We have done some preliminary internal discussions, and we do occasionally talk to people in the community who might be able to develop some type of residential space for college students,” Wojcicki said. “We know there’s some interest ... but we are closer to being in the idea stage than any kind of implementation.”

The downtown living options were featured by the State Journal-Register on November 11, 2012.

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