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The Lofts
28 Apr 2015
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The Lofts is an $80 million mixed-use development brought by Washington University to the Delmar Loop. It opened in August 2014 and began housing undergraduate residents for the 2014-2015 school year. The project also contains United Provisions, a grocery store that opened alongside The Lofts in August, and the Peacock Diner, a 24 hour eatery that opened in September 2014. 

The Lofts has received praise for United Provisions and Peacock Diner, two locally owned and independent businesses that follow the retail culture of the Delmar Loop. United Provisions in particular gives residents of the area a much-needed opportunity to buy fresh groceries in the Loop. The Lofts represents a physical manifestation of Washington University's efforts to expand its outreach into the surrounding communities, and provides students with a way to interact with the Loop through residential life.

However, the Lofts is not without its criticisms. A Student Life article written shortly after the start of the Fall 2014 semester claimed that the Lofts may signal the school "leeching away the history of the Loop", claiming that its big glass-box design did not fit the culture of the other businesses. Additionally, the inclusion of students into the residential community of the Loop creates significant traffic issues that disrupt longtime University City residents. While the Lofts can be looked at as an attempt to break "the Wash U bubble" of undergraduate students, others may see it as Wash U simply expanding its bubble, at the expense of local residents.

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