City Honors School announced Tuesday it will launch a fundraising effort by the end of the summer to buy and renovate Fosdick Field as an all-weather athletic field and public park.
But it may need to speed up that starting date, because the property could be publicly listed by then.
“It will probably be put on the market in 60 to 90 days,” said Michael Seaman, chairman of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, which has owned the property since 1977.
Seaman said the agency has discussed the future of Fosdick Field over the past three years with City Honors, and would like to see the school acquire the property.
But Seaman said the financially strapped BMHA is also under pressure from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to “rebuild its reserves” by getting fair value for land that’s sat vacant for years.
“I think the school would say we have been pretty patient. We are committed, and still believe that the best use for that land would be for the school. But we can’t just give a $2.1 million piece of federal property away,” Seaman said, referring to the appraised value of the 4-acre parcel. The sale of Fosdick Field is a key to help return the agency to fiscal health, he said.
“Maybe a sense of urgency will jump-start interest,” Seaman said of City Honor’s efforts.
Seaman said he plans to meet with City Honors Principal William Kresse soon to discuss the issue.
The City Honors/Fosdick-Masten Park Foundation on Tuesday unveiled a site design in the school auditorium, and announced a capital campaign starting later in the summer to reacquire and reconstruct the property.
Cost for renovation was put at $2.9 million by Baer & Associates, bringing the total expected to be raised from public and private dollars at $5 million.