Downtown expansion tied to revitalization

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The Rev. Michael Chapman, pastor of St. John Baptist Church and president of the Oak-Michigan Housing Development Corp, a not-for-profit housing development corporation of St. John Baptist Church, announced on Monday a step forward for a well-devised, systematic, business plan to revitalize Buffalo’s East Side and the critical role of UB in achieving this goal.

In front of hundreds of supporters, parishioners, elected officials and community leaders, Chapman outlined the Oak-Michigan Housing Development Corp.’s and the St. John Fruit Belt Development Corp.’s $500 million East Side development plan, which he said will be a catalyst for economic development and improvement in quality of life in one of Buffalo’s poorest neighborhoods.

Chapman said this plan will focus on development of a High Street commercial district, to be populated primarily by minority-owned businesses, as well as the construction of 150 new, multi-family townhouses for residents of McCarley Gardens, new housing for seniors, new recreational facilities, a boxing facility and new infrastructure in the 42-block Fruit Belt neighborhood adjacent to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

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