5.4 out of 10

CUF

39.1334271630432 -84.520328542
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Clean & Green
  • Medical Facilities
  • Schools
  • Parking
Not great for
  • Shopping Options
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Childcare
  • Public Transport
  • Resale or Rental Value
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Students
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Clifton Heights, University Heights, and Fairview make up the neighborhood called CUF"

I've lived in Cincinnati my whole life and attended the University of Cincinnati, yet I had never heard the term CUF for the neighborhoods surrounding the University. I've always heard these areas referred to by their own names of Clifton Heights, University Heights and Fairview. The neighborhoods are made up of a mix of apartments, multi-unit housing, and older homes all snuggled together on side streets as main streets are lined with businesses, medical facilities, schools, and university related buildings.

Like many college towns, these neighborhoods have housing that is predominantly geared towards students and the businesses that cater to them, as well. So, here you will find many affordable rentals and cheap eats. There are a number of single-family homes that are owner-occupied, many by University employees; or, as in the case of one of my friends, the children of former University employees. These areas are a convenient location for those working at the University of Cincinnati, which is the second largest employer in Cincinnati.

Clifton Heights has a prominent business district which has undergone a major overhaul in recent years. Most of the older buildings have been razed and replaced by new buildings that combine street level storefronts with student rentals. These businesses, along with many others that have been in the neighborhood for years, are along both Calhoun Street and West McMillan Street; these are the core streets of the Clifton Heights business district. There are a number of restaurants, from national chains to eclectic, local restaurants featuring a variety of cuisines at affordable prices. One of my favorites is Cilantro, which features extremely tasty and very cheaply priced Vietnamese fare. The current location is pretty cramped, but they are moving right down the street to a little bit larger spot.

Parking in the CUF area can be pretty difficult at times. Many of the single-family homes or even homes that have been divided into multi-unit housing don't have driveways, so on street parking is necessary. Since this is a truly urban area, the majority of businesses do not have parking lots. So, finding a spot to park on the street is key. There are some parking garages on the University of Cincinnati campus or by the hospitals, as well as some public lots by the businesses in the Clifton Heights business district. However, be warned if you park in the Clifton Heights lots, that you must make sure to feed the meters well, as towing occurs frequently and it is very expensive to retrieve your car once it has been towed.

If you will be working at any of the hospitals, businesses or the University, then you definitely want to look into the CUF area. It's a lively area with lots to offer, but because of the large student population can become a little too lively. Plus, with the transient nature of many of the residents, there is a lack of consistency in the neighbors you may have, plus the various crimes that may bring. That being said, however, the people who do own homes or businesses in this neighborhood have a strong sense of community and pride in making their neighborhood the best it can be.
Pros
  • lots of places to eat, shop, and enjoy the nightlife
  • Inexpensive rental properties
  • Nearby hospitals
  • Nearby schools
  • Walkable business district
Cons
  • transient neighbors (students)
  • neighborhood can get rowdy
  • Hard to find parking
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"CUF? Oh, you mean Clifton Heights, University Heights and Fairview?"

I've lived in Cincinnati a long time, and find the whole CUF thing a bit confusing. That's mostly because it's not a real place. CUF is an acronym, like RLS or OMG. You won't see a CUF destination sign on the 17 bus or hear residents say “I live in CUF,” because they actually live in Clifton Heights, University Heights or Fairview.

Those communities are mostly a residential mix of simple and elegant older homes and tons of apartments, condos and shared homes where UC students and graduates live. Clifton Heights, University Heights and Fairview have had a joint neighborhood association since the late 80s (cufna.org/history.html), so the CUF thing isn't much of a stretch.

Shopping and eating in CUF
The Calhoun/McMillan area of CUF (The Heights) has small shops and restaurants that cater to the college population. That's where Campus Cyclery, Plaza Artist's Materials, Dubois bookstore and several other small shops are located. There are more shopping options available on nearby Ludlow Ave.

Restaurants
You'll find Five Guys, Subway, Curritos, Panera, Potbelly's, Buffalo Wild Wings and others along Calhoun. On the McMillan side is Deep India, Red Pepper Asian, Chicago Gyro, China Food and more.

Arts & Entertainment
There are a number bars in the area, like Mad Frog at McMillan and Vine with live music. If you're not into the bar scene, try:
-UC College Conservatory of Music (ccm.uc.edu) presents musical productions.
-UC College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning (daap.uc.edu) showcases graduating student's design projects.
-The Heights Music Festival in April presents “multi-genre” music.(http://www.theheightsmusicfestival.com/about/)

Medical Facilities
-Good Samaritan Hospital is on Clifton across from Burnett Woods.
-Deaconess Hospital is still open just off Clifton, although they've recently closed their ER.
-University Hospital is in Corryville. VA and Children's Hospitals are in Avondale and Christ Hospital is in Mt. Auburn. All are a 10 minute drive or less from CUF.

Parks and Recreation
As I passed Burnett Woods the other day, they were set up for trapeze lessons. There's always something going on there and UC has a variety of participant and spectator sports events.

Education
Cincinnati Public Schools
-Hughes High on Clifton Ave., grades 7 – 12
-Fairview-Clifton German Language School on Clifton Ave., (fairview.cps-k12.org/)

University of Cincinnati has tons of educational opportunities and child care on campus.

This is a college area with lots of people coming and going from all over. They have a few issues with crime and noise. The area is mostly safe during the day, but if you're out at night go with a buddy.
Pros
  • Walkable business district
  • Inexpensive rental properties
  • Nearby hospitals
  • Nearby schools
Cons
  • Hard to find parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"CUF: The Proverbial College Neighborhood"

The letters CUF stand for Clifton Heights, University Heights, and Fairview, the three communities that make up the neighborhood.

CUF is your proverbial college neighborhood, housing the University of Cincinnati and many of its students. Whereas the area thrived as a business center in the 1950s, virtually all of its former commerce has been replaced by shops, restaurants, and convenience stores that cater to the thriving UC student population. You’ll find chain eateries such as Panera, Potbelly, and Starbucks, and popular shops including Urban Outfitters and American Apparel, but also some unique local boutiques, restaurants and cafes.

While the neighborhood showcases many excellent examples of Cincinnati’s old, beautiful architecture, you’ll find that CUF has an unusually high percentage of rental property compared to the rest of Cincinnati. This is due, again, to the high percentage of college students in the area, to whom these properties are targeted. (The bright side of this is that housing is extremely affordable!) Though most properties are either apartments or two-family homes, University Heights has the highest number of single-family home ownership out of the three CUF communities.

Though CUF is primarily a college neighborhood, elementary, middle- and high-schools are not hard to come by. Most notable within CUF is the Hughes Center, a vocational and special-purpose high school located in Clifton Heights. The Hughes Center is comprised of five college prep schools including the Padeia High School, High School for the Communication Profession, High School for the Health Professions, High School for Teaching and Technology, and the Cincinnati Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMAS).

Additionally, if you look into neighboring communities you’ll find Walnut Hills High School, Annunciation, Clifton Public, and, of course, Fairview German Language School (which, despite its name, relocated out of Fairview and into Clifton in 2008).

Considering CUF is comprised mostly of 20-somethings in college, the neighborhood is considered relatively safe. It does, however, border some more dangerous neighborhoods, most notably Over the Rhine, and has therefore seen its fair share of burglary and violent crime. Nearby hospitals include the nationally-ranked Children’s Hospital, UC’s University Hospital, and, of course, Good Samaritan Hospital, located right in University Heights.
Pros
  • Inexpensive rental properties
  • Nearby schools
  • Nearby hospitals
Cons
  • Located near somewhat dicey areas
  • Hard to find parking
  • Almost all college students
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

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