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$30M new grad student housing planned for N. Buffalo

An old series of industrial buildings in North Buffalo may soon be replaced by more than 300 units of housing for graduate students, both from the University at Buffalo and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.The City Planning Board has a public hearing Tuesday on a proposal from DFFusion out of Provo, UT to demolish four of a group of industrial buildings at Main Street and Hertel Avenue and save two others. DFFusion builds student housing and is looking to spent around $30 million to replace buildings next to Bethune Lofts and then Bennett High School with graduate student housing.

DFFusion Principal David Freeman says the goal is to open in August 2019.

"It's actually, it's multi-family housing, but it's geared towards graduate students," he says. "It will be primarily studios or on-bedroom apartments. They're going to be furnished and we're excited to be at that location."

Freeman says the site, roughly across the street from the Metro Rail LaSalle Station, allows students to head north to UB and south to the Medical Campus.

"The subway, the proximity to Hertel and the university area there, there's entertainment and nightlife for the students, but it's also just a real nice, quiet location," he says.

Buffalo's Preservation Board has approved the demolitions on a brownfield site.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.