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Private housing development coming to Buffalo

It's being called the largest private housing development in the city of Buffalo in decades. The project will be built at the former site of the Central Park Plaza.

Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news
A large, interested crowd packed School 61 to hear plans for the former site of Central Park Plaza.

LP Ciminelli is building the massive Conventus project next to the medical campus and Allen-Hospital Station. The company wants to use the site of the old Central Park Plaza to house 600 rental housing units as a catalyst for development into the Fillmore-Leroy neighborhood. 

The plan drew some mixed feelings during a forum Monday night in School 61.

Dawnette Leftwich believes the $67 million project is good for Buffalo.

"It's not even just the neighborhood, it's the city. Because, the city is growing in vast areas and there is all kinds of construction going around in the city. So, it's not just the neighborhood, per se. It's the city. The city needs better housing opportunities," Leftwich said.

Senior Vice President John Ciminelli spent well over an hour taking questions and listening to objections during the meeting. He pointed out there is plenty of infill space for owner-occupied housing in the surrounding area. To the many speakers wanting a much-needed grocery store at the former plaza, Ciminelli pointed to adjacent commercial space which another developer could use.

First residents would move in some time in 2016.

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.