A university-sponsored collaborative neighborhood redevelopment initiative

Campus Circle, launched by Milwaukee’s Marquette University, revitalized a low-income neighborhood with quality mix-income housing for students and families. The university joined forces with area businesses, community organizations, and residents to develop a comprehensive approach to transforming a 90-square-block area adjacent to its campus. The $9 million university investment included three main components: building new off-campus student and staff housing, rehabilitating low-cost housing for neighborhood residents, and revitalizing commerce by developing commercial properties, all while reducing crime and increasing community involvement.

Campus Circle functioned as a ‘wheels on fire’ developer when acquiring deteriorated properties was the only way to gain control of buildings without causing their prices to skyrocket.

1995 Selection Committee

Campus Circle purchased over 150 properties in the area and created over 88,000 square feet of new commercial space. Crime is down significantly and social services organizations and a police station have been integrated into the circle. More than 150 units for students have been built or renovated, and 188 units of affordable housing for residents was rehabilitated without increasing rents.