Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority commissioners have authorized the sale of LBJ Apartments on Humboldt Parkway to Medaille College.
The authorization sets in motion negotiations on the purchase price, decisions on where residents will be moved and acquiring the approval of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"This allows us to move forward," said Michael Seaman, chairman of the BMHA's board of commissioners. "We need appraisals done, HUD approval. We needed to have this signed so that we can get to this process to get to an agreement and a signed contract."
The agreement occurred Thursday during a meeting of BMHA commissioners. BMHA officials, who must find a new home for the approximately 250 residents who are senior citizens, are considering constructing a new building near Main and Amherst streets.
Tenants prefer to remain in the same neighborhood, which is close to transportation, said Commissioner Leonard Williams.
"The residents are going to make out [well] because they will be involved in how the new building will be designed and located," said Williams, adding that new HUD regulations require residents to be consulted.
"In order for us to send an application to HUD to dispose of the building, we have to show we consulted with residents and that they were involved in the decision-making process."
The location would be used for dormitories or administrative offices, said Tom Burns, spokesman for Medaille. In the past 10 years, the school's enrollment has increased more than 200 percent, and the college built two new dormitories in the last five years, he added.
"Dorms are probably more of our priority at this point," he said. "We're going to need more beds for students as that growth continues, and the proximity of the building makes it a natural fit for us."