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In the past fifteen years, urban universities have become increasingly active as commercial real estate developers. Universities have begun to acquire, renovate, or develop from the ground floor significant tracts of commercial property near their campuses. Often these investments are accompanied by management policies inspired by shopping center developers, with tenants carefully chosen, the details of operation such as opening hours specified by contract, and public goods provided either by the university or through university-controlled organizations. While the activities of some universities, notably the University of Pennsylvania, have been extensively documented, no published study exists of Yale’s extensive program to improve New Haven through investment in and careful management of commercial real estate. Beginning in the early 1990s, Yale has become a major player in New Haven commercial real estate, emerging as the city’s largest commercial landlord, with approximately ninety retail tenants. In this paper, I will both describe Yale’s commercial real estate program and assess the success of this program, both from the internal perspective of whether Yale has met its goals and the external perspective of its effects on New Haven residents.