Work Starts on 49 Townhouses near Medical Campus

December 17, 2012 Updated Dec 17, 2012 at 9:18 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First James Fink

December 17, 2012 Updated Dec 17, 2012 at 9:18 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Riding the momentum created by the nearby Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, St. John Fruit Belt Community Development Corp. has started work on 49 townhouse units that will be constructed on various East Side streets.

The development project, which carries a $15.3 million construction price tag, will see townhouses built on 17 different sites. Units will include two-, three- and four-bedroom models and will be marketed to low-to-moderate income residents. All have "historically friendly" designs. so the homes blend in with existing houses in the neighborhood.

The townhomes are being constructed on such streets as Maple, Mulberry, Lemon, Locust, Peach and Grape streets -- all on the eastern fringe of the medical campus.

The development is part of a wave initiated by Rev. Michael Chapman, pastor at St. John the Baptist Church.

"To put the Fruit Belt community back on the right track, we know what it takes," said Darryl Towns, New York State Department of Home & Community Renewal commissioner and CEO. "The city couldn't do it by itself. The state couldn't do it by itself. This was an opportunity to tie our ropes together."

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, who helped underwrite the project by allocating $2.75 million in federal HOME funds for the project, said the project is about linking the neighborhood with the medical campus.

"To see the (Buffalo Niagara) medical campus grow is to see the Fruit Belt grow," Brown said.

Construction will start in the next few weeks. The first units should be tenant-ready by next fall.

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