For several decades prior to 1995, the University District faced challenges in the appearance and maintenance of its residential and commercial structures and, most importantly, in the safety and quality of life of the students and other residents who live and work in this area. These concerns grew in the early 1990s and safety had become a major issue.

In January 1994, E. Gordon Gee, in his first term as president of Ohio State, established the University Area Improvement Task Force composed of representatives of university faculty, staff and students, university community organizations, and the City of Columbus to address the decline in the University District.  In March 1994, Stephanie Hummer, a freshman student, was abducted near her off-campus residence and murdered. Her death underscored the importance of the task force’s work and moved that work forward to create a non-profit redevelopment corporation and prepare a comprehensive revitalization plan for the University District.

The Ohio State University created Campus Partners for Community Urban Redevelopment in 1995 to spearhead the revitalization of the urban neighborhoods around its Columbus campus. Campus Partners was incorporated as a non-profit organization to work with the city, community agencies, neighborhood civic associations and the university itself.  Ohio State employed Barry Humphries, a Columbus developer with extensive experience in urban neighborhood revitalization, to develop Campus Partners and then became its first president.

Terry D. Foegler, AICP, became president of Campus Partners in September 1996. He led Campus Partners through a transition from developing to implementing the plan. In consultation with the university, the city and neighborhood leaders, Mr. Foegler has identified key initiating projects. Meanwhile, Ohio State's Board of Trustees in May 1997 approved the revitalization plan. The trustees also authorized Campus Partners to proceed with a proposed mixed-use project to redevelop a declining commercial area near the university, including the acquisition of property. In addition, they allocated $500,000 for an employer-based homeownership incentive program for faculty and staff to buy homes in the University District. At the recommendation of the city's Planning Division, Columbus City Council in June 1997 adopted the revitalization plan as official city policy to guide city action in the University District.

After serving as president of Campus Partners for 12 years, Terry Foegler left in August 2008 and Doug Aschenbach, executive vice president who had joined Campus Partners in 2001, was named president in April 2009.  Doug retired in June 2013 and Amanda Hoffsis was appointed President.