The architect of UB's $300 million construction plan for Lee Road on the North Campus offered details about the ambitious project at a sparsely attended public hearing Tuesday.
Designers plan a pedestrian-friendly mix of student housing, service buildings and retail shops emphasizing green space and attractive architecture, said Robert A. Shepard of Stieglitz Snyder Architecture.
But the dozen or so people at the meeting questioned the impact on traffic and the environment.
Architects and UB officials have developed a tentative plan for the project, which would be built in four phases over the next seven to 10 years.
The plans would link the Ellicott Complex dorms to the main Academic Spine and include:
Housing for 3,000 students.
2,570 extra parking spaces in lots and garages.
An expanded bookstore.
A recreational sports center.
A new child care center.
A conference center and hotel.
Retail space for a coffee shop, theater, bank, florist, gift shop, dry cleaners and mail service.
A restaurant like TGI Friday's.
Consultants are drafting a statement on the project's environmental impact. The project is expected to pay for itself through rent and user fees.
Kenneth F. Barber, an associate professor of philosophy, questioned how a project could promote an "urban" environment and preserve green space.
"It looks like you're trying to please too many constituencies, and neither one is going to buy it," he said.
UB is holding two more hearings: from noon to 2 p.m. today in 145B Student Union and from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday in the Harriman Hall theater on the South Campus. For details, go to www.ub-housing.
A Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness Program, sponsored by the NAACP and Alpha Beta Sigma sorority, will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday in 145D Student Union on the North Campus.