Release Date: September 25, 2014
BUFFALO, N.Y. – University at Buffalo and the Oak-Michigan Housing Development Corporation jointly announced today that they are not moving forward on their deal involving the McCarley Gardens property.
Oak-Michigan Housing Development Corporation’s contract to sell the property to the UB Foundation, acting on behalf of UB, expired in 2013. The contract will not be renewed.
“After carefully considering UB’s master physical plan and our goal to expand in concert with the community, the university has decided not to purchase the property,” said UB President Satish K. Tripathi.
“UB’s long-term vision for its Downtown Campus, including the formation of an academic health center, remains intact,” Tripathi added. “The university will continue to evaluate properties downtown, as its long-term planning evolves and as Buffalo’s life sciences economy continues to grow and thrive.”
Rev. Michael Chapman, president of Oak-Michigan Housing Development Corporation and pastor of St. John Baptist Church, said he remains committed to a vision for revitalizing Buffalo’s East Side.
“The St. John Baptist Fruit Belt Development Corporation is continuing with its development of the Sweet Pea Market, residential housing for the Medical Campus, 23-hour daycare, which is operational and expanding from 3 and 4 years olds to infants from six weeks to 18 months,” Chapman said. “The church development corporations have an additional $20 million in Community Development initiatives for 2014-15.”
Tripathi and Chapman both noted that although the transaction was never finalized, the partnership between the two organizations has produced positive results. They partnered to create an Economic Opportunity Panel made up of representatives from UB, Buffalo Urban League and the Buffalo Employment and Training Center. The panel’s 2013 report outlined ways the university, working with BNMC partners, could open up new economic opportunities to community members as UB expands into downtown Buffalo.
Some of these steps have included the creation of new allied health training programs at UB’s Educational Opportunity Center. These programs enroll more than 150 people who reside in neighborhoods bordering the BNMC. And MWBE (minority- and women-owned business enterprise) participation in major UB construction projects has exceeded SUNY goals, with 13.2 percent minority-owned and 12.3 percent women-owned businesses expected to participate in the construction of UB’s new School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in downtown Buffalo. The medical school project is underway and is slated to be completed early in 2017.
Since 2012, UB has spent nearly $9 million on goods and services with minority-owned businesses (MBE) and $12.5 million on goods and services with women-owned businesses (WBE). This significantly exceeds SUNY goals, which call for colleges and universities to spend 12 percent and 10 percent of their overall purchases with MBE and WBE purchases, respectively.
The university’s long-term strategy for a UB Downtown Campus is focused on the relocation of the UB medical school to downtown Buffalo to help form the region’s first academic health center (AHC).
Anchored by UB’s new medical school, in partnership with Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Hauptman Woodward Medical Research Institute, an AHC combines superior medical education, clinical care and research to create a dynamic environment focused on improving patient care and health outcomes in Western New York. It will create a comprehensive, interconnected teaching, research and clinical care environment for the community, faculty and students.
“The university’s commitment to establishing an academic health center in Western New York and expanding our presence on the BNMC has never been stronger,” Tripathi said. “This is demonstrated by the construction of our new medical school – the largest medical education building under construction in the country and the largest project in Western New York.”
UB’s expansion on and near the BNMC over the past five years also has included construction of a new Educational Opportunity Center (2013), construction of a Clinical and Translational Research Center (2012), creation of the Institute of Healthcare Informatics (2010) and relocation of the university’s community outreach programs to the renovated UB Downtown Gateway building (2009). UB’s other downtown properties include the Research Institute on Addictions, the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, Ira G. Ross Eye Institute and the Jacobs Executive Development Center.