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Community group raises concern about housing near medical campus

A community group is voicing “skepticism and concern” about proposed plans by a relative newcomer developer to build new housing in the Cold Spring neighborhood near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The group, the Fruit Belt/McCarley Gardens Housing Task Force, questioned if Eunice Lewin’s Impacto Consulting will “work to maintain the unique, historic character of a neighborhood woven with structures built from circa 1840 to the present.”

In a statement, the self-described task force said it would “hold Impacto Consulting to its stated goals” of developing “community buy-in” and ensuring that “community and developer goals are aligned.” And it called on the developer to allow the community to “see its plans and have meaningful input” on architecture, hiring, contracting, design and preservation “before plans are submitted and approved.”

Lewin has proposed building 64 two-story residential units of varying shapes on 17 vacant lots in the Cold Spring area, just north of Pilgrim Village, in an area bounded by Michigan Avenue and Dodge, Best and Ellicott streets. The project is subject to the routine review and approval by the city Planning Board and other municipal authorities.