University, Florida

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University is an unincorporated census-designated place in Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. The population was 30,736 at the 2000 census. However, as of the 2003 estimate by Rand McNally, the community population is approximately 33,200. It is the home of University of South Florida located just east of the community. The community is also known as University West, mainly due to its location in relation to the university. The community is often notoriously referred to by locals as Suitcase City due to very high eviction rates in the area during the late 1980s and early 1990s.



University is bounded by Interstate 275 to the west, Tampa city limits to the south, University of South Florida to the east, and Bearss Avenue to the north. Its historical boundaries stretch as far east as Morris Bridge Road; however, the boundaries were scaled back owing to annexations by Tampa and Temple Terrace during the 1980s. The community is one of the most diverse in the county; however, the Hispanic (mostly Mexican) population is growing very rapidly and now represents an estimate 20-25% of University's population.


University Mall, a shopping center located at the southern end of the community, was the main source of economic development within the community during the 1970s-1980's. The businesses that were concentrated in the mall have been replaced by many stand alone shops along Fowler and Fletcher Avenues, such as Wal-Mart, Target and dozens of fast food establishments. The Library Lounge is a prominent strip club, catering to the needs of many transients along Nebraska Avenue. There is a county bus transportation center operated by HARTline and a county health department located in the area. Fletcher east has become a hub of medical and dental groups adjacent to University Community Hospital.


University is located at 28°4′11″N 82°26′14″W / 28.06972°N 82.43722°W / 28.06972; -82.43722 (28.069644, -82.437091)[2].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the community has a total area of 3.9 square miles (10.0 km²), of which, 3.9 square miles (10.0 km²) of it is land and 0.26% is water.

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