Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown today joined with Buffalo State College President Dr. Katherine Conway-Turner to officially announce the college has been picked as designated developer of the City of Buffalo’s Auto Impound site, located at 166-170 Dart St.
“For some time my Administration has been planning to relocate the City’s Auto Impound facility, and the site’s location, adjacent to Buffalo State College, feels like a perfect fit for the educational facility that needs more space to fulfill its long-term mission,” Mayor Brown said. “I have no doubt Dr. Conway- Turner, and the SUNY Buffalo State board and staff, will come up with a creative and fitting use for this highly-visible site.”
“Buffalo State would like to thank Mayor Brown, the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo Common Council for supporting and selecting the college’s affiliate, BSCR Corporation, to serve as the designated developer. We are proud to be partnering with the city on this exciting project,” Dr. Conway-Turner said.
Mayor Brown also announced the City released a request for proposals earlier today seeking a new location for its Auto Impound operations.
“At the time this site was chosen for the Auto Impound, this was an industrial neighborhood and the auto impound was a good fit. But, as the years have passed, this area has seen steady investment and redevelopment. We are looking for a site that can accommodate vehicle storage needs, as well as a work center for our City Auto Impound staff,” Mayor Brown said.
Buffalo Parking Commissioner Kevin Helfer said the deadline for proposals is May 23, 2019.
“We want to move this process forward rather quickly so we can start working with a developer to create an impound site that meets our needs for many years to come. We’re seeking a minimum 10-year lease, with an option to extend the lease or potentially purchase the property,” Helfer said.
Basic requirements for the new impound site include: a gated and fenced, four to six acre paved lot for impounded vehicles, plus a 2,500-square-foot office building to house towing dispatch staff, customer service and waiting areas, space for the City’s parking meter repair shop, plus parking areas for staff and customers.
Mayor Brown announced the selection of Buffalo State as designated developer of the seven-acre site in his February 15, 2019 State of the City Address, saying the college would be transforming the long-time City Impound site from a “scrapyard into a schoolyard.”
“As a land-locked institution, this is a rare opportunity for an urban campus such as Buffalo State to extend its campus footprint, while also contributing to the exciting revitalization of Buffalo’s West Side. It is our hope that the final development plan will be one that is welcoming and supportive of the community, provide new and unique opportunities for our students, and support Buffalo State’s mission as an anchor institution for our great city,” Dr. Conway-Turner said.
The Buffalo Common Council approved the development arrangement at its February 19th session, setting in motion an 18-month period during which the college’s BSCR Corporation will pay the City $1,000 per month.
During that time period, college officials will be weighing a wide array of development options for the property. College officials described the possibilities for development as “truly wide open—nothing has been predetermined.”
Buffalo State will evaluate critical campus capital needs, as well as solicit input from the community on how to best transform and utilize the property in alignment with the college’s strategic plans and goals. Outreach to the community and key stakeholders will commence in the coming weeks and continue throughout the project, leading to a request for proposals to be issued this summer.
The City’s Auto Impound has been located on the Dart Street site for over 20 years. Dart Street was named to honor Joseph Dart, the Buffalo-based inventor of the steam-powered grain elevator. The northwest corner of the impound site was also the location of a War of 1812 battle.