Greenleaf and Co. recently held a ceremonial groundbreaking for its new Campus Walk student housing development on Grant Street. The project is comprised of two buildings, 162,000 sq. feet of space of housing, and 5,000 sq. feet of retail space. The development will position more than 300 students firmly on the West Side of the city, where they will have immediate access to Grants Street and Amherst Street amenities.
This student housing advancement is tremendously exciting for those who have wanted to see Buffalo State students interact with more streets and neighborhoods than simply the Elmwood Village. Hopefully Buffalo State capitalizes on this progressive development by creating its own residential and commercial thoroughfare on Grant Street. There is opportunity to continue on with this type of expansion, by developing upon sprawling parking lots that reside to the west of the campus.
This stretch of housing, combined with the existing Buffalo State dorm complex at the northeast corner of Grant and Rockwell Road, creates the first semblance of density and infill needed to spur economic development on the street. The addition of retail shops, a computer room, fitness center, etc., will also be welcome – the retail component is especially exciting to see.
“We are thrilled to be able to break ground on what we see as a huge step for Buffalo State students and the surrounding community,” said Greenleaf and Co. CEO James Swiezy. “This project should truly contribute to the vibrancy of the neighborhood. Buffalo State has been a tremendous partner, and we look forward to providing a great multi-purpose facility for its students and the community.”
This project was made possible thanks to a land swap deal between Buffalo State and Greenleaf, which will see additional construction of a 10,000-square-foot Visitor Center at the southeast corner of Rockwell Road and Grant Street. The Jacqueline V. LoRusso Alumni House and Visitor Center will break ground in early 2017. The gateway center will be used by visitors, returning alumni, and prospective students and their families.
“This groundbreaking ceremony marks another milestone in the exciting revitalization of the city’s West Side and the transformation of the college’s Grant Street entrance,” said Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner. “Campus Walk will not only help to address our student housing needs as a new off-campus option for our juniors and seniors, but the street-level retail space is an amenity that will be enjoyed by all members of the campus community and surrounding neighborhood.”
“Campus Walk is another great example of the continued development we are experiencing in neighborhoods throughout the City of Buffalo,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown, noting that over $5.6 billion in economic development activity is currently underway in Buffalo. “As we continue to promote efforts to attract increased investment, and create jobs and new housing citywide, this mixed-use development in the Grant Street-Buffalo State College neighborhood adds to the momentum. We look forward to the completion of this project and the impact it will have on this vibrant community.”
“This is a great project for both Greenleaf and the community,” said Phillips Lytle LLP Partner Douglas W. Dimitroff, who is working with Greenleaf on the project. “We are very proud to be able to work with Greenleaf on a development opportunity which should enhance the neighborhood in a transformational way.”
The project is scheduled to be completed by July 1, 2017, with the new buildings open for use by students in time for the Fall 2017 semester.