LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Drone footage is offering a sneak peek of the new USC Village that is expected to house up to 2,700 students once complete.

The site is half-way finished and sits right across the street from the campus which is located in Exposition Park.

“You can control your environment and this is a safe environment for the students,” said Willy Marsh, a project manager.

Safety has been at the forefront of the development seen in the drone footage, which was provided by USC.

“If I’m by myself, I don’t feel 100 percent comfortable,” said Nikki Chang, who lives about a half-mile from campus.

She often finds herself on the defensive when she walks to and from school at night.

“It’s probably something that could be improved on,” said Chang.

This despite a steady flow of police patrols that were added to the area after a spike in crime near the school, which included the shooting deaths of two international students in 2011 and the deadly beating of a third in 2014 who lived off-campus.

Five apartment complexes and a dorm building are going up. All of them will have mixed-use.

Both Target and Trader Joe’s have already committed to being part of the development. The university says the major stores will benefit the South Los Angeles area, which has been under-served.

“I think that we’re filling the gap,” said Marsh.

Chang is a public planning and development major and says the USC Village may have another effect:

“If you take some of college students that are living in this housing over here and you relocate them over to the USC student housing that maybe these rents might open up for other residents.”

Businesses and students are expected to move into the USC Village by the fall of 2017.


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