BMHA Chooses National Architect for Choice Neighborhood

September 27, 2013 Updated Feb 6, 2012 at 3:06 PM EDT


BMHA Chooses National Architect for Choice Neighborhood

September 27, 2013 Updated Feb 6, 2012 at 3:06 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- The architectural firm responsible for Baltimore’s Inner Harbor will design Buffalo’s Choice Neighborhood plan because of its professional excellence as well as its lowest price proposal, Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority officials said in a news release issued Monday.
According to the news release:

The $624,000 project will result in a dramatic remaking and revitalization of the Commodore Perry public housing neighborhood by Philadelphia-based Wallace, Roberts & Todd. WRT, which has long experience with Hope VI projects, designed Buffalo’s for Lakeview on the Lower West Side in 1998.

Working with WRT will be Buffalo-based Foit-Albert Associates, which recently designed a new exhibit at the Buffalo Zoo; a concert hall at the Chautauqua Institute; Buffalo’s Waterfront Park; the new office building at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens; and the Alfiero Center at the University at Buffalo.

CHA Consulting, Inc., a major engineering firm in Buffalo, is also part of the project.

“Buffalo is fortunate to be guided by WRT, one of the premier neighborhood revitalization architectural firms in America,” BMHA Executive Director Dawn E. Sanders said in the news release. “WRT has the deepest experience and the highest achievement when it comes to modernizing and transforming public housing into residential oases that become signature properties for all who live in and near them.”

The BMHA Perry Choice Neighborhood planning initiative is a collaborative led by the BMHA and the University at Buffalo Center for Urban Studies. Its goal is to develop a plan for transforming the Perry Choice Neighborhood into a vibrant community of opportunity.

It will be designed to function as a springboard so residents earn a living wage and help children do well in school, graduate on time, and go on to college and/or obtain a job with a meaningful career ladder.

On March 18, 2011, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that Buffalo was among 17 cities awarded the first planning grants through the new Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. Buffalo received $250,000 to begin transforming the Commodore Perry Housing neighborhood, the Woodsen Gardens neighborhood, and Kowal Apartments neighborhood into new viable and sustainable mixed-income communities.

On Jan. 10, 2012, HUD awarded Phase Two grants of $115 million to transform public and assisted housing and to revitalize communities. WRT will also lead the planning efforts in Meridian, MS, Jersey City, NJ and Kansas City, MO.

It has also worked on neighborhood revitalization plans in Atlanta, Dallas, Baltimore, Chicago, Jersey City, Los Angeles, Louisville, Newark, New Orleans, Oakland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tampa, and Washington, DC.

“WRT is one of the leading planning and architectural firms in the country, and we are fortunate to have it on our team,” said Dr. Henry Louis Taylor Jr., executive director of the UB Center for Urban Studies. “It brings a wealth of experience in dealing with HOPE 6 and Choice Neighborhood projects, which are LEED based. Its addition, the team will help with the development of a project that is truly capable of catalyzing the redevelopment and transformation of the Perry Choice Neighborhood.”