University Circle Neighborhood Guide

Researching University Circle neighborhood in Cleveland Ohio? Here is a complete guide with the most up to date information about University Circle neighborhood!

Your Real Estate Expert
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Kristina Morales


ABOUT University Circle

University Circle started off as Doan’s Corners in the early 1800s. Initially named after Nathanial Doan, how as a member of the Connecticut Land Company, this area began to take on the name University Circle during the 1880s when local universities and schools relocated to the area.

University Circle, otherwise known as the Circle, underwent another growth spurt during the 20th century. The Cleveland Museum of Art opened during 1916 and was followed by 19 other educational and cultural venues being opened in the area as well, including the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Cleveland Botanical Garden.

The neighborhood’s status as an education and cultural center evolved to include health care when University Hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic, and about 40 other institutions opened their doors throughout the early 20th century.

Today, University Circle is known as a cultural, educational, social-service, and religious center of Cleveland where about 10,000 residents live.

52% of University Circle’s residents are male and 48% are female.

21% of residents have some college education or an associate’s degree. Another 20% of residents have a bachelor’s degree, and 20% have a master’s degree or above.

The population is largely diverse. 59% of residents are White, and 18% of residents are Black. 16% of the population is Asian, and 4% of residents are Hispanic. 4% of residents are of other ethnic backgrounds.

Due to University Circle’s many institutions and educational campuses, 73% of residents are between 18-24 years of age. Just 3% of residents are under 18. The remaining 26% of residents are over the age of 25.

TOP University Circle HIGHLIGHTS

Rich history
Great nightlife
Diverse population
College town
Urban feel
Many restaurants
Good crime statistics
Convenient location

Natural Disasters

In recent years, the University Circle has faced threats from extreme weather events that include heavy overnight storms, snow storms, and tornadoes.

Severe storms caused massive flooding in low-lying areas and those parts that are located near the Cuyahoga River. In the past, several streets and intersections were closed in the area due to high waters. Flooding also caused significant damage to property and public utilities.

The neighborhood has also experienced the effects of increased precipitation levels due to climate change. Earthquake risks in the area, however, remain low.

University Circle has been working on improving its emergency preparedness initiatives through programs that include the conversion of vacant land into functional green spaces. Efforts are also ongoing to improve sewerage systems and construct rain gardens.


The commute time for those 25 and over in University Circle is about 20 minutes due to the neighborhood’s close access to popular roadways and short distance from frequented areas of Cleveland, Ohio.

Euclid Avenue cuts diagonally through University Circle’s center of town and connects to Mayfield Road. Martin Luther King Jr Drive and Chester Avenue also branch off of Euclid Avenue and lead to other nearby areas.

It only takes about 10 minutes to reach Lake Erie’s shore from University Circle, and Downtown Cleveland is about a 15 minute drive west. Additionally, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is about a 30 minute drive southwest.

Crime Rate

The crime rate in University Circle is about 8% lower than the Cleveland average. Crime rates in the neighborhood, however, are still significantly higher than the Ohio and national averages.

Overall, the crime rate in University Circle is about 5,413 per 100,000 residents. This rate is about 110% higher than or more than twice the national average. University Circle is safer than about 54% of communities in Ohio.

Violent crime rate in the area is 1,339 per 100,000 residents or about 252% higher than the national average.

Property crime is more prevalent in the area at a rate of about 4,075 per 100,000 residents. This rate is about 85% higher than the national average. One has a 1 in 19 chance of becoming a victim of crime in the University Circle.


SCHOOLS IN University Circle

Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District services about 6,500 students throughout University Heights, Cleveland Heights, and the surrounding areas.

This district is known for its diverse student populations, qualified and well-rated teachers, various clubs and activities, and its special emphasis on college preparatory programs. The district’s administration, resources, and facilities are also highly-rated.

Out of 608 Ohio school districts, Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District’s athletics programming ranks as #45 in the state. Plus, this district is in the top bracket of school systems to teach in.

This school district has a total of 11 campuses, which breaks down into 7 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and 1 high school campus, in addition to an early childhood campus and a specialized school geared towards students with specific emotional needs.

The top performing schools in this district include Roxboro Elementary, Canterbury Elementary, Fairfax Elementary, Roxboro Middle School, and Cleveland Heights High School.


Roxboro Elementary School: ranks Roxboro Elementary School as the #2 elementary campus in the Cleveland area based on overall excellence. This K-5 campus is in Cleveland Heights and has about 350 students with a student-teacher ratio of 15 to 1. The student population is diverse, and states test scores indicate 77% of students are at least proficient in reading and math. Bolton Elementary School: Bolton Elementary School is just outside of University Circle’s western border. This campus includes around 300 students from pre-kindergarten-8th grade. With an impressively low student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1, 99% of this campus’s student population qualifies for free or reduced lunches.
Roxboro Middle School: Roxboro Middle School is a 6-8 middle school campus located a short distance east of University Circle in Cleveland Heights. This campus has a diverse student population of about 650 and a low student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1. Roxboro Middle School is especially known for its qualified and well-rated teachers. Mary B Martin School: Mary B. Martin School is a pre-kindergarten through 9th grade campus located about 5 minutes west of University Circle. This campus has a low student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1 and an estimated 350 enrolled students. This campus has a gifted and talented program, tutoring options, and an emphasis on individual student growth. Citizens Leadership Academy: Citizens Leadership Academy is a 6-8th grade public charter school that consists of about 280 students. This campus has highly rated teachers and a student-teacher ratio of 19 to 1. According to state test scores, 45% of students are proficient in math, while 47% are proficient in reading. An estimated 68% of enrolled students qualify for free or reduced lunches.
John Hay High School: John Hay High School is located in University Circle. This 9-12 campus first opened in 1929 and was fully renovated and updated between 2006-2007. This campus includes 3 smaller schools within it, which are the Cleveland Early College High School, the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine, and the Cleveland School of Architecture and Design. Cleveland Heights High School: Cleveland Heights High School is found a short distance east of University Circle in University Heights. With a student-teacher ratio of 14 to 1, this large campus includes 1,700 students throughout 9-12 grades. Cleveland Heights High School has a graduation rate of 85%, great clubs and activities, and a diverse student population.
Cleveland Montessori School: Cleveland Montessori School is a private campus located in Little Italy and founded on Italian educator and physician Dr. Maria Montessori’s principles and philosophies. This independent school opened in 1995 has trained teachers to help students achieve great accomplishments in subjects such as social studies, reading, math, geography, science, and writing. St. Adalbert Catholic School: St. Adalbert Catholic School first opened in 1890 and was reopened in 1962. This private Catholic campus was founded on the teachings and scripture of the Catholic church and provides students with a Christ-centered education. This school is a pre-kindergarten through 8th grade campus with about 300 students and a student-teacher ratio of 17 to 1. St. Thomas Aquinas School: St. Thomas Aquinas School is north of University Circle. This campus is committed to teaching students key morals and values while also promoting academic achievement. This K-8 campus has about 220 students and a student-teacher ratio of 16 to 1, with 12 full-time and 2 part-time teachers. About 98% of the student population is African American, and 1.4% are Hispanic.

Real Estate

University Circle Housing 2020

University Circle is known for having some of the most sought-after properties in the Cleveland area, which means that this real estate market is largely thought to be a seller’s market. Single family homes and attached properties are particularly desirable and can expect to receive multiple offers.

The median property value in University Circle is estimated to be about $94K, which is considerably lower than the national average of about $184K.

The median property value stems from a large portion of properties being worth under the $100K mark. Specifically, 21% of properties are valued under $50K, and 10% of real estate varies between $50K-$99K. The majority of properties at 51% are worth between $100K-$199K, and 11% of properties range between $200K$399K. Just 2% of properties are valued between $400K-$749K, and 5% of real estate is priced above $750K.

Ranked by Forbes as one of “America’s Prettiest Neighborhoods,” University Center’s real estate market is full of opportunity.

University Circle Homes for Sale

Because a large part of University Circle’s population is comprised of students and young professionals between 18-25 years of age, the majority of housing options in the neighborhood at 78% are rented, while 22% of residences are owner-occupied.

To give an idea of rental rates, the median rent in University Circle is about $830 per month, which tracks just under the national average. 24% of residences cost less than $500 per month, while 45% of rental properties go for $500-$999 per month. Another 16% of residences cost between $1,000-$1,499 each month, while 8% of properties go for $1,500-$1,999 per month. Lastly, 8% of rental properties cost above the $2,000 per month mark.

As one of the biggest employment centers in Ohio, University Circle’s housing options meet a variety of its residents’ needs. This neighborhood’s housing options are a diverse mix of apartments, condominiums, and detached family homes.

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Things to do

University Circle is home to world-renowned historical locations, esteemed museums, acclaimed universities, delicious restaurants, and multiple attractive community parks. Of course, University Circle is well-known for its range of museums, educational campuses, and historic locations. Residents and visitors are welcome to browse exhibits and venues known the world over such as the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Dittrick Museum of Medical History, Severance Hall, and more memorable attractions. University Circle also includes a range of can’t-miss outdoor destinations such as the Cleveland Botanical Garden and Rockefeller Park. Plus, University Circle’s cultural and nightlife scene also mean there are incredible local spots to check out. With many smaller art galleries, Little Italy, and regular community events happening regularly, there’s always somewhere to go or something to do. Since University Circle is located only 5 miles from Downtown Cleveland, it’s more than easy to take advantage of everything that the Cleveland area has to offer.
Visit Severance Hall
Severance Hall, a renowned concert hall, first opened in 1931 and is currently the home of the Cleveland Orchestra. This location has a rich history and was designed by Walker and Weeks, a local firm, and inspired by Neoclassical architecture. Severance Hall is considered one of the most beautiful concert halls in the world and hosts a number of events annually.
Get lost in the Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art is known internationally for its displays and various exhibits of Asian and Egyptian art. The Cleveland Museum of Art, also known as the CMA, houses more than 61,000 pieces of art from all corners of the world. With free admission to the public, this art museum welcomes around 770,000 visitors each year.
Enjoy fresh air at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
Founded in 1930, the Cleveland Botanical Garden was created to be the Garden Center of Greater Cleveland. Currently located on the former site of the Cleveland Zoo, the Cleveland Botanical Garden has rapidly expanded throughout its existence and now includes the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse, a massive conservatory home with 2 separate biomes, plus 10 total acres of gardens.
Check out Rockefeller Park
Rockefeller Park was named after John D. Rockefeller Sr., the famous oil magnate. This park takes up an impressive section of land and bisects University Circle itself. Rockefeller Park includes Doan Brook, a 7-mile stream, Rockefeller Park Greenhouse, and Cultural Gardens that represent local ethnic groups who play a large part in making the Cleveland area vibrant and diverse.
Visit Little Italy
Little Italy, otherwise known by locals as Murray Hill or simply the Hill, is a historic center of the Italian American community within the Cleveland area. This stretch of town includes multiple historic, culturally important, and culinary venues. Authentic bakeries, restaurants, and the historic Holy Rosary Church are only some of Little Italy’s many attractions.
Browse Local Art Galleries
Beyond large museums and recognizable names, University Circle also has many smaller galleries in the area. Of the many local art galleries worth exploring, one notable example of University Circle’s art scene is Tara Seibel Art Collection, Reinberger Gallery, SPACES, and Artisan Gallery.
Experience local history at the Western Reserve Historical Society
The Western Reserve Historical Society was first formed in 1867, which means this society holds the title of being Northeastern Ohio’s oldest cultural institution. WRHS is located in the Hay-McKinney mansion alongside an expansive museum. WRHS also has one of the largest libraries in the United States, seeing as the library houses well over 6 million manuscript items.
Take the family to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is impressively comprised of 550 total acres. Cyrus S. Eaton first formed the museum itself in 1920 to contribute to the fields of anthropology, archaeology, botany, paleontology, and zoology to name only a few. Today, the museum’s collection exceeds 4 million specimens and includes a range of fossils and skeletal remains of dinosaurs.
Walk through history at the Dittrick Museum of Medical History
Founded in 1894, the Dittrick Museum of Medical History began as a collection of artifacts of the medical profession and evolved into a location that features various exhibits of medical instruments and technology. Collections include multiple letters from Charles Darwin, a timeline of childbirth and midwifery, various diagnostic instruments, and doctors’ offices throughout the ages.
Check out the local nightlife
University Center doesn’t only cater to avid history buffs and museum frequenters. For those looking to enjoy a night out on the town, there are a range of great local venues to explore, including the Jolly Scholar, L’Albatros, Lounge Leo, the Fairmount Cocktail Bar, Tavern of Little Italy, and Parnell’s Pub to only name a few great options.


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