Proposed student housing project moving forward

Najee Walker, Associate News Editor

SUNY Buffalo State seemed to have a rough start to the year, due in part to the housing dilemma this semester.

Some Buffalo State students were scattered off-campus to Canisius College and Medaille College. However, Buffalo State is moving forward in trying to remedy the situation and prepare for the future.

The proposed housing project, that will land a second complex right next to STAC, moves forward at a steady pace. The project is hosted by a project management and realty company called Greenleaf & Co.

Greenleaf has planned to give Buffalo State a complex which may bring up to 600 beds to Buffalo State. In addition to housing students, the plan for the building is to have a fitness center and retail space.

Demolition of houses that once occupied the space where the new building will go has already been finished and the first phases of construction are expected to start soon, possibly by the start of next year. The completion of the first phase is estimated to bring at least 300 students into the building.

The plan has support from all over, including City Hall and of course, the Buffalo State community.

“The project has been moving forward,” said Hal Payne, vice president of student affairs.

Brailsford & Dunlavey, a project management firm based out of Washington, D.C., has helped with Buffalo State’s proposed housing idea. Buffalo State turned to Brailsford & Dunlavey for advice on how to proceed with housing in the future.

In 2014, they began researching the best course for the campus. Recently, the firm completed a study that Payne calls the “housing master plan” that will now be the basis for housing in the future. The plan finished just as classes began.

Despite the connection between Buffalo State and the complex, Michael LeVine, vice president of finance and management, said that the Greenleaf project is not necessarily a campus project.

The Greenleaf project is similar to a recent trend of private building management and realty companies attempting to build apartment complexes to cater to students nearby. A North Carolina-based company has also been working on apartments to be built on Forest Avenue. These apartments will have similar attractions to the one being built on Rees Street next to STAC, however, they will be further off-campus, about a mile or less away.

Both projects aim to bring in Buffalo State students and may possibly allievate the dorming tensions.

LeVine instead puts emphasis on the already existing dorms.

“Our focus now is on putting Bishop Hall and South Wing back online as dorms,” LeVine said, “which will add about 360 additional beds.”

This will not be instant. LeVine further emphasizes that, although these places were once dorm buildings, the process of converting them from office buildings or classroom buildings may still take a few years.

However Buffalo State intends to deal with the housing dilemma, students in the future will now have a variety of different housing options, whether it be on campus or a few blocks off-campus.