UM hoping to proceed with first phase of new housing complex

UM is geared to begin the first phase of University Village, a project that will house approximately 1,120 upperclassmen, graduate and law students in a total of 162 apartments.
Recently, however, the UM Neighbors Homeowners Association [UMNHA] has gathered hundreds of signatures from residents against the construction of University Village, claiming it will increase traffic, massing and density to unacceptable levels in the neighborhood. Also, they are worried that students in the area will yield higher crime rates.
However, not all the neighbors in the area agree with these concerns.
“It seems to me that some of the neighbors mistake the features of modern urban living for living next to students,” Margaret Marshall, director of English Composition at UM and resident of the proposed construction site, said. “These neighbors will not be appeased no matter what the university proposes to do with the area, and unfortunately have made the process more difficult than it has to be. Ultimately, the plan will be less than it might be.”
Christopher Vasquez, a sophomore majoring in public relations and political science, says he feels like a member of the Coral Gables community, even though the neighbors only consider him a temporary resident.
“As University of Miami students, most of us feel that we are residents of the Coral Gables community,” Vasquez said. “Whenever my friends and I tell people that we go to the University of Miami, we always have to specify that UM is in Coral Gables as a way of recognizing that we live in a great area. When I need food, I eat at the restaurants on U.S. 1 and Downtown Coral Gables. When I need a haircut, I go to Miracle Mile.”
Groundbreaking for the project has been halted pending mediation negations between the City of Coral Gables, the UMNHOA and UM administration.
For more information contact the University Village information line at 305-284-6728 or e-mail questions and comments to