Marshall University has released updated plans for the “4th Avenue Innovation District” that will connect MU’s main campus to downtown Huntington.

The new development is being headed up by Orange Valley, Ohio-based Fairmount Properties, which is an industry leader in transforming college campuses and city centers, according to their website. Founded in 1998, Fairmount Properties lists buildings at Kent State University, the University of Toledo, Case Western University, Iowa State University, and Virginia Tech on their resume.

The 4th Avenue Innovation District in Huntington got underway on November 10, 2021 with the groundbreaking of the new Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation on the site of the former Uptowner Inn on the southeast corner of 4th Avenue and 14th Street.

The updated plans were revealed earlier this month when Marshall President Brad D. Smith led state representatives on a tour of the proposed sites.

The new proposal calls for a large Cyber Security Center Building on the northwest corner of 4th Avenue & Hal Greer Boulevard, an Advanced Manufacturing Center, a new Visual Arts Center, an “Innovation Hub,” street-level retail spaces, residential units, offices, common areas for students and the public, and a new parking garage.

This is a monumental expansion for the University, which has traditionally regarded 16th Street/Hal Greer Blvd as the western gateway to campus. The new development, once completed, will increase the total footprint of Marshall’s campus by 25-30%. This development is akin to Marshall’s “Commons” dorms, Science and Engineering Buildings, and Pullman Square combined. The entire downtown neighborhood adjacent to campus from 3rd Avenue to 5th Avenue will be radically transformed, according to developers.

Artist renderings of the planned 4th Avenue Innovation District acquired by Huntington News Network below.

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