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February 10, 2023
The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) announced plans to demolish the Marine Drive Apartment complex and construct new housing units.
After meeting with residents and looking at the structure of the current buildings, it was determined by the BMHA development team the 72-year-old apartments could not be renovated and it would be better for residents to build new, affordable housing.
"Often, when cities revitalize obsolete public housing, it is the residents who suffer. That will not happen here,” said BMHA Executive Director Gillian D. Brown in a release. “Mayor Byron Brown, the BMHA Board, and I remain committed to the promise of keeping all 616 affordable units on this site. Every current resident will have the opportunity to live in the revitalized Marine Drive Apartments.”
The process began in 2021 by collecting renovation ideas from residents, but ultimately decided that it would be more cost-effective and less disruptive to residents to build new.
“By starting with a clean slate, we can invest in structures that will serve BMHA residents for generations, while raising the bar for how public housing can contribute to the communities it serves,” Brown added.
The project is expected to create hundreds of construction jobs.
“This project offers a fantastic employment opportunity for BMHA residents and other low-income residents to get well-paying construction jobs that will put them on the path to self-sufficiency,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said.
Residents were informed of the plans Thursday during two informational sessions. The first phase of the construction will begin on a development's surface parking lot with an estimated start date in early 2024.
Once the buildings are built, existing towers will be demolished as they are vacated to make way for the next phase of the project.
Residents will be allowed to move from the current apartments directly into the new builds.
The project also includes plans for covered parking for residents, a variety of different housing types, green space, and the option to build more units than what is currently there.
It's estimated the project could be finished by 2029 with a price tag of at least $400 million.