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To students, it's quality and attractive comfort.

To the city, it's a promising investment in a neighborhood and the city's economic future.

Phase 1 of Canisius College's new $17 million Delavan Townhouses was dedicated Friday during an event that touted the dormitory's amenities and economic impact.

The college's faculty and staff and elected city and state officials gathered for the ceremony that included a prayer and blessing, followed by a guided tour of the facility.

The Rev. Vincent M. Cooke, the college's president, called the townhouses, which opened this fall, the college's "latest investment in the City of Buffalo."

"Not only will the townhouses provide Canisius with the much-needed, high-quality residence hall space for our growing student population, but we also hope that the project will spur other investments in the Lafayette Avenue and Linwood-Oxford neighborhood."

The townhouses are on the site of the old West Delavan Avenue Armory. And the 10 surviving members of the 1st Cavalry National Guard New York Division, who trained at the armory, were honored during the dedication. A replica of the plaque -- which tells the history of the cavalry and the armory and will be placed at the entrance -- was also unveiled during the ceremony. The college included the armory's cornerstone as part of the townhouses, which were built after the armory was demolished in 1999.

Stan Davis, 85, president of the Buffalo Calvary Association, said, "We are just thrilled. Now we can rest assured. With the plaque and cornerstone, we know that we will remain in the hearts of the people in the community."

Cooke said that college officials have been meeting with community groups to rehabilitate old homes as part of an effort to revitalize the community.

Mayor Anthony M. Masiello, an alumnus, said: "A continuing investment by Canisius College into the City of Buffalo is mutually beneficial. The influx of young people is fundamental to the revitalization of our urban core."

The townhouses include 197 beds in three-, four- and five-bedroom apartments. A typical four-bedroom apartment also includes two full baths, kitchen and living room. The 7,000-square-foot community center has study spaces, lounges, meeting rooms, laundry facilities and offices.

By next fall, the second phase will add another 130 beds in two buildings fronting Harvard Place.


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