Nationally Recognized Developer to Build Apartment-Style Undergraduate Housing

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: May 13, 1998

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Construction of the first on-campus housing at the University at Buffalo in nearly 25 years is expected to begin in August, with occupancy slated for the Fall 1999 semester.

American Campus Communities (ACC) of Austin, Texas, was selected to develop the project by a review committee composed of representatives from UB Student Affairs, Residence Halls, University Facilities and the UB Foundation after a Request for Proposals was circulated to local, regional and national developers in early January.

The firm was chosen for a variety of reasons, according to Dennis Black, UB interim vice president for student affairs. Among them, he said, were a design and site plan favored by student leaders and committees, project costs that were approximately 15 percent below other proposals and a history of building 45 college projects, including 20 on-campus apartment projects that were completed "on time" and "under budget."

"Both student housing needs and university needs have changed greatly in the past 25 years," Black said. "This project will address those changes directly by providing students with highly desirable living accommodations, and by providing the university with additional opportunities for enhanced campus life."

He stressed that although ACC is not a Western New York company, the project's general contractor, ADF Construction Corp., and local architect, Lauer-Manguso & Associates, are based in Amherst. Moreover, ACC President Thomas Trubiana has committed to subcontracting up to 95 percent of the work on the project to Western New York contractors, Black added.

The 624-bed project, consisting of single-occupancy, four-bedroom units, will be built on a 10.9-acre site bounded by the Audubon Parkway and Hadley and Rensch roads. Each unit will have a living/dining room, two full baths and a kitchen. Basic furnishings and appliances, including washers and dryers, will be provided. The three-story buildings will feature masonry exterior walls, storage, security features and connections to UB's computer, cable-television and telephone systems. The complex will include recreational areas, green space, adequate parking, a stop for the Blue Bird shuttle and a community building.

Black said a monthly rent of about $390 per student -- an amount comparable to the room fee for the university's residence hallls -- is projected, based on a 10-month lease. The fee will include utilities, cable-television and computer hookups and a campus telephone line. The apartments will be fully furnished.

The project is the second phase of a proposed three-phase plan to provide housing for students and improve their quality of life. The first phase, Flickinger Court, an apartment complex for graduate and professional students at Chestnut Ridge and Sweet Home roads adjacent to the North Campus, is expected to be ready for occupancy by the Fall 1998 semester.

The third phase will involve construction of additional housing on the North Campus, possibly sponsored by the Alumni Association, and conversion of South Campus dormitories Goodyear and Clement halls into apartment-style housing. A feasibility study on phase three is being completed now, Black said, with construction possibly beginning in Fall 2000 or Fall 2001.