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In 2010 JCSU launched a series of initiatives to transform the Northwest Corridor.
In October of that year, the University opened the Arts Factory, its first off-campus building, at West Trade Street. The project was the first step to generate more business and development in the Historic West End. 

The Arts Factory is located at the former Griffin Tire Company building which was renovated into a new teaching facility for the visual and performing arts. Programs include dance, film graphic art, studio art and theatre. It is also home of the Black Box Theatre which presents performances open to the public several times a year.