Canisius continues investment in Hamlin Park neighborhood
Canisius announces the sale of the college’s Griffin Hall and Main Humboldt apartment complexes to TDB Properties LLC. TDB Properties will redevelop the buildings into 43 market rate apartments. Canisius also announces its intention to raze its nearly 60-year-old parking ramp and replace it with a surface lot. The multi-million dollar project was presented to the Buffalo Planning Board on July 26 and is pending final approval. The proceeds from the sale of the buildings will in part fund the demolition of the ramp and construction of the surface lot.
“Both the sale of these buildings and creation of a surface lot continues the college’s commitment to invest in the Hamlin Park community, contributing to the stability and vitality of the neighborhood,” said John J. Hurley, president of Canisius College. “We want to be certain that any decisions we make continue to improve the neighborhood and serve as a catalyst for other investments and renovations.”
The well-lit and attractively landscaped surface lot will create approximately 420 spots. It will open up vistas across Jefferson Avenue into the historic Forest Lawn Cemetery, as well as provide opportunities for traffic calming and pedestrian-friendly design.
The college plans to begin the project this fall and complete it by summer 2022. LaBella Associates will manage the ramp demolition and development of the new lot.
Constructed in 1962 to accommodate shoppers at what was then a Sears Roebuck and Co. store, the ramp contained 1,350 parking spots. Canisius acquired the ramp in 2008, and was using approximately 550 spaces due to the ramp’s deteriorating conditions.
Other Canisius neighborhood initiatives include the Hamlin Park Initiative, which concluded in 2019. Started to help solidify the residential neighborhoods surrounding the campus, the HPI was created by Hurley in 2010, as a housing program designed to return college-owned homes in the Hamlin Park neighborhood to owner-occupiers.
In addition to the 10 houses included in the Hamlin Park Initiative, the college also donated two houses with adjacent lots on Glendale and Eastwood to Habitat for Humanity. The college’s Habitat chapter participated in the renovation of both houses now owned by Habitat families.
The college also spearheaded the first Employer Assisted Housing program in the community in 2002. The program enabled eligible, full-time Canisius employees to purchase homes in the city of Buffalo. Employees received grants in the form of forgivable loans to assist with down payments or closing costs associated with the purchase of homes in eligible neighborhoods. Loans were forgiven over five years assuming that the employee remained with the college and lived in the home. Fifty Canisius employees purchased homes in Buffalo through the EAH program.