About the University District Public Development Authority
The University District is where business and education grow together. Located east of Spokane’s Downtown, its 770 acres (most of which are in a qualified Opportunity Zone) are connected by the Spokane River, high-performance transit lines, bike and ped trails, and an interstate highway corridor. The District is home to nearly 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students in two medical schools and six notable higher education institutions, including Community Colleges of Spokane, Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, University of Washington, Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane, and Whitworth University.
The District is the result of decades of coordinated civic efforts. In 1987, a group of Spokane regional leaders launched the Momentum 87 initiative which created a vision to transform a desolate railyard into a campus for thousands of students and researchers. Thanks to intentional community and institutional collaboration, foresight, and strategic planning over the following decades the University District has benefited from more than $1 billion in public and private investments including the iconic University District Gateway Bridge that unites the academic core to the north with the Medical District to the south.
The District's organizing goal is to leverage the area’s unique connectivity to create shared community wellness and vibrancy by developing the infrastructure and programming that enable a globally-recognized hub of education, innovation, research, and health care.
A strong foundation has been established to achieve that goal and the 2019 University District Strategic Master Plan - Update sets the course to overcome any barriers to public and private development. Already more than $100 million in new private development is underway, nearly $100 million in public infrastructure is planned for the next three years, businesses are expanding in or relocating to the University District, and multiple new medical and technical degree paths are anticipated. The Momentum continues!
Key Data Points:
- Home to six higher-ed institutions, two medical schools (University of Washington and Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership, and WSU Health Sciences Spokane Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine), and the Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience
- Connected by the future High-Performance Central City Line
- Multiple bike and ped trails, as well as Spokane River accessibility by SUP and kayak
- Home to the Northwest’s greenest building: The Catalyst Building (opening Spring 2020)
- Home of smart city innovator Urbanova and its Living Laboratory