Morgantown residents and WVU students have been watching the Sunnyside Area transform over the last few years. On-lookers can see the progress of University Place from the outside but on Tuesday Paradigm Development Group took us inside the complex for a closer look.
"While we were working on the structure, we've been working on the interior of the projects," said David Martinelli, one of the three partners at Paradigm. "We're anxious to show you what's going on the inside. It's a bit like a beehive in there. There are hundreds of workers in there on all of the levels of the buildings."
A Sheetz is going in on the ground floor, the largest of it's kind and first with a full grocery store. The ground level will also have a fitness center and seven other retail store fronts.
University Place will be housing for students, but the rest of the Morgantown community will be able to enjoy the facilities.
"All the retail, even the fitness center, is open to the public. That's one of the things that the 'Sunnyside Up Plan' called for. Something that is mixed use that it is truly a community type of development," Martinelli said. "Yes, students live here but they might also run into their professors at a restaurant."
The floors each have different layouts. Some students will be able to enjoy more of a dorm feeling, while upper classmen will have their own rooms, bathrooms, closets and living spaces.
Hundreds of construction workers are completing two buildings which each stand 12 stories high from Grant Avenue. There are also plans for green space, study areas and even town homes.
"It's going to change the lifestyle of a lot of students. The traditional college living that students want," said Martinelli. "They can roll out of bed, go to class, they can live independently, but still be in a building that's university managed. So, if there's a problem or they need anything the university is very responsive."
University Place will house close to 1,000 students. Most of the units are sold out but they are still leasing. They expect to have those students here in the Fall of 2014.