Study On UB South Campus Neighborhood Receives Support From Alumnus

Release Date: November 20, 1998 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A closer look at housing and economic issues in the neighborhood surrounding the University at Buffalo South Campus is the focus of a new UB study, partially funded by a $25,000 gift from a 1967 alumnus, in the hopes of uncovering alternatives for revitalizing the neighborhood.

Robert G. Morris of Peekskill understands the impact that a university or college has on its community and recognizes the implications the UB study can have on the long-term vitality of the Main Street area.

"The public needs to be more aware of UB and its positive economic impact on the City of Buffalo and to see the university as an asset to the community," said Morris, who received a bachelor's degree in economics from UB. "The neighborhood near the Main Street Campus is on the doorstep of an outstanding educational institution, making it even more critical for the stability of that area to be addressed. Many other cities across the country are dealing with the same issue, so it is satisfying to see UB taking action to improve the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhood."

The five-year study is headed by Barry Lentnek, UB professor of geography and associate director of the Center for Regional Development and Policy. It will examine the development of vacant land, property values, land use and employment in the South Campus neighborhood. The information will be used by the University Community Initiative, a collaboration between the Town of Amherst, City of Buffalo, Town of Tonawanda and UB, in its efforts to stabilize and revitalize the neighborhood surrounding the South Campus.

"Forecasting when and where large tracts of open land will become available for redevelopment is critical (for that effort), as well as understanding how the appearance of vacant land affects the value and use of neighboring developed properties," said Lentnek.

Results of the study, Lentnek noted, may help "lead to the formulation of new urban policies for the redevelopment of old industrial cities like Buffalo."

Morris, who started his financial career in Buffalo, is partner and director of equity investments for Lord Abbett & Co. in New York City. He previously was with Merrill Lynch & Co. in New York City.

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