No plans for demolition of Perry Apartments

More than 100 vacant housing units for BMHA property

Mike Baggerman
January 23, 2020 - 3:00 am
Commodore Perry Apartments. January 22, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Commodore Perry Apartments. January 22, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - There are no plans for the Commodore Perry Apartments to be torn down, despite deplorable conditions at the housing complex in the City of Buffalo.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority plans to put out proposal requests for improvements to the property. The Buffalo News previously reported that the complex would receive $4 million worth of upgrades, though the improvements only affected some parts of the complex and not shuttered units. They also reported that there were plans to demolish those buildings.

There has been some speculation that the vacant apartments could be demolished and replaced with a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills, should the team decide it wants to set up shop in the City of Buffalo.

"The RFP that is going to go out is not going to be about the Bills stadium," Mayor Brown said. "It's going to be about the needs of low-income residents, public housing residents, and members of our community that deserve and need good quality affordable housing, and how we can best maximize quality, affordable housing for the residents of the community."

Mayor Brown said, though, that the planned improvements for the Perry Apartments does not mean that there's an end to a potential downtown stadium for the football team. That decision will largely be made by Terry and Kim Pegula following the results of a stadium study conducted by CAA Icon that began in November 2018. The results of the study are not expected to be made public and it's unknown if the study has been completed, though it was anticipated to be completed last summer.

In 2017, Congressman Brian Higgins called for a redevelopment of the 12 vacant buildings and 172 housing units at Perry Street Apartments.

"Those buildings are all brick and they are in close proximity to Downtown Buffalo," Higgins told reporters on Wednesday. "We see a building renaissance occurring in Downtown Buffalo. I think to really experience a renaissance, I think it has to include all the neighborhoods of Buffalo...I think the Perry neighborhood and the vacant buildings and unit that are there provide great opportunity for student housing or for people who want to live near or work in Downtown Buffalo. I would rather see those buildings filled with activity."

Higgins said it could be affordable housing and market-rate housing while noting there's plenty of potential for investment.

Multiple calls to the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority were not returned.

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