LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Cue the marching band – USC Village, a $700 million development that will house students and include ground-floor retail and restaurants open to the public, opens Thursday.

The project — the largest development in USC’s 137-year history – replaces a dilapidated 1970s-era outdoor mall on a 15-acre site at Jefferson Boulevard and Hoover Street.

USC Village includes a Target and a Trader Joe’s, an Amazon store/pick-up center and more than a dozen dining options that are open to the public. For students, there is a state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor parking for more than 1,500 bicycles, an intramural field and an 8,000-square-foot dining hall that bears more than a slight resemblance to Hogwarts’ Great Hall in the “Harry Potter” books.

On the upper floors, there is housing for 2,500 students.

“Safety and security was one of our key guiding factors when we planned and designed this complex,” said Lloyd Silberstein, USC’s vice president of capital construction.

“The public areas are available to everybody during the day. At night though, we close them down just like we do the rest of the campus,” said Lloyd Silberstein, USC’s vice president of capital construction. “We’ve got 2,500 students living above, and their parents want to know they’re safe.”

The entire complex is built around an acre-plus-sized piazza featuring a large water fountain and a 20-foot-tall bronze rendering of Hecuba, Queen of Troy, female counterpart to USC’s famous statue of the Greek warrior Tommy Trojan.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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