The University of Buffalo has apparently reached an agreement with St. John Baptist Church to purchase the McCauley Gardens housing project. Rev. Michael Chapman, pastor of St. John Baptist Church, on Monday will announce a “significant milestone in the plan to develop Buffalo’s Fruit Belt and East Side communities” according to a media advisory. He will be joined by Mayor Byron Brown and University at Buffalo President John B. Simpson at the 11 a.m. press conference.
The15-acre site would be redeveloped to accommodate the university’s medical schools as 14,000 students and staff are relocated downtown. Bounded by Harriett Tubman Way to the east, Virginia Street on the north, North Oak Street on the west and Goodell Street on the south, McCarley Gardens was built in 1978 and has 150 townhome units in 23, two-story buildings. Current tenants are expected to be offered the opportunity to move into new residences to be built in the Fruit Belt neighborhood.
The UB 2020 Plan anticipates the need for approximately 4.2 million square feel of space – seven times as much space as UB currently occupies downtown – to accommodate students, faculty, and staff on the downtown campus. The long-term plan is to relocate UB’s five health sciences schools – dental, medical, nursing, pharmacy, and public health – downtown over time.