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Here's A Look At The Brand New USC Village

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At long last, the new Westwood Village USC Village has finally arrived. After three years of construction, the university is opening the new commercial and residential area to the public. Included in $700 million, 1.2 million-square-foot complex are seven residential colleges (with an eighth to come in 2018), a 30,000-square-foot fitness center, a Trader Joe's, a Target, and multiple restaurants and retail options. The area matches USC's brick-loving aesthetic to a T; undoubtedly the area will feel as much a part of campus as campus itself. The Village will be open to the public until 10 p.m. every evening, after which students and faculty can access the area with their IDs. The Village will have wi-fi across the entire space and the commercial options will include Fed-Ex, Corepower Yoga, and the Village Cobbler from the old University Village. Other food options (most of which will open soon) include Baked Bear (an ice cream sandwich company), a Barilla Italian restaurant, a SunLife Organics, Wahlburgers, Trejo's Tacos and a Greenleaf Gourmet Chop Shop.

The Village will include 1272 enclosed bike parking spaces as well as 224 outdoor bike racks. The housing will accommodate 2,500 students across 663 residential suites. To access the dorms, students will need to go through both facial and thumbprint recognition software. Security will also man the dorms 24 hours a day. Students living at the Village can also eat at the 8,000-square-foot dining hall.

When the Village was first introduced, it faced backlash around its potentially gentrifying effects on the community. Many of the businesses in the original University Village, including Quik-Pix Photo & Digital Lab and a Superior Grocer, were demolished with no plans to bring them back. Now, three years after the departure of Superior, a Trader Joe's will take its place. The popular grocery store has many locations in Los Angeles, but with the exception of both Culver City locations, it has never opened a store both east of the 405 and south of the 10 freeway. Superior, by contrast, predominantly has locations both east of the 405 and south of the 10 freeway.

Besides the commercial and residential elements, a statue of Hecuba will stand tall in the middle of the Village. Hecuba, for the uninitiated, was the wife of King Priam of Troy and mother to his 19 (!) children. President C.L. Max Nikias told Trojan Family Magazine that the Hecuba statue is designed to celebrate the women of Troy. "She would urge the Trojans to fight on, even when they were outnumbered, exhausted, facing impossible odds," he said, adding, "The spirit of Hecuba always inspired them to achieve great triumphs." Nikias is a professor of classics and was himself born on the island of Cyprus.

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USC originally gained the Trojan mascot in the early 20th century, when their track and field team lost to Stanford despite picking up steam in the latter half of the meet. A Los Angeles Times sports reporter wrote at the time that the USC athletes "fought on like the Trojans of antiquity." As its campus continues to grow and buy out real estate near downtown L.A., it appears it will continue to fight on to build its influence in Los Angeles.

Here's a drone flyover:

USC Village is located at 3215 S. Hoover Street in Los Angeles.

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