Kleban Properties Emphasizes the Positive Economic Impact Local Universities Have on their Communities
Sacred Heart University Community Theater is the Next College Business to Join a Thriving Downtown Fairfield
July 8, 2019, Fairfield, CT: Kleban Properties, LLC recently announced their pending acquisition and renovation of the historic Fairfield Community Theater building which is set to re-open as the “Sacred Heart University Community Theater” in spring of 2020. Al Kleban, no stranger to incorporating college based businesses into the Fairfield community, beginning with the addition of the Fairfield University bookstore into the center of town, believes in the positive local economic impact a university has on its community.
“The presence of a university has a direct effect on a city or town’s retail foot traffic, lifestyle amenities, job creation, tourism dollars, and real estate,” explains Mr. Kleban, “While numerous studies have been conducted throughout the country (and the world) to illustrate this fact, one only need observe the growth and energy of a community that has the benefit of a local university at its core.”
A 2017 study by Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU), the governing body of the state’s regional universities and community colleges, reported on the 17 institutions which pump more than $11 billion annually into Connecticut’s economy.
Even more impressive is an analysis of the economic impact of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC) stating the total economic impact of Connecticut’s Independent Colleges and Universities for the year 2017 was over $33.2 billion. The report, prepared by Mark Paul Gius, Ph.D., Quinnipiac University, states the total economic impact of a university can be measured in terms of the direct and induced economic impact of a university’s activity on the local and state economy. Direct spending is defined as the amount of money spent directly by the university, university employees, students, and visitors. The induced economic impact is the additional employment and expenditures of local industries that result because of direct spending. Study highlights include:
Direct Spending by Employees: $3,192,474,834
Direct Spending by Students: $739,760,700
Direct Spending by Visitors: $162,072,965
University Purchases: $1,117,863,458
Capital Assets (5 year average): $11,966,850,805
Jobs Created: 257,939
Connecticut is home to 220,471 alumni
Fairfield University’s economic impact on the state was reported as $1,976,022,886 and Sacred Heart University had a $$2,356,703,876 impact on the state. Comparatively, Quinnipiac University had a $3,119,278,347 impact, and Yale University contributed $16,603,211,780, half of the overall CCIC state income.
According to a study by Jonathan Rothwell of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, 68% of alumni from two-year colleges and 42% percent of alumni from four-year universities remain in the same area after graduation? Graduates enter the workforce, statistically making more money than those without a degree and promoting long-term economic stability for the city in which they studied.
Henry Bienen, President Emeritus, Northwestern University says it’s important for college towns to be aware of the lifestyle interests of not only educators and students, but of the increased number of visitors as well.
Cultural contributions, music, theater, and athletic programs fill up not only stadiums, but hotels and restaurants, providing tax income and recreational dollars.
The benefits do not stop at economics; they also benefit development and social issues. In an article by Times Higher Education, it is explained that a metro university can often mean stronger city planning and be a benefit to social concerns. Author Clare Melhuish, a senior research associate and co-director at the University College London Urban Laboratory, describes universities as a catalyst for redevelopment and overall improvement of urban areas. She feels that the presence of a large population of students challenges planning norms and patterns as well as the dedication to solve social problems.
Kleban Properties believes in creating a sustainable community and continues to not only recognize the economic, demographic, and sociographic impact its local universities have on their properties, but Kleban Properties addresses this unique phenomenon by bringing in businesses which fill voids and contribute to the overall vitality of the town of Fairfield.