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UB given OK to proceed with medical school land purchase

The University at Buffalo on Wednesday was given the green light to acquire the property on which its new $375 million Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences building now sits.

The building, under construction since 2013, is scheduled to open in January. Equipment already is being moved into the building.

So how is it that the university only now is acquiring the land?

To speed up the construction process, FNUB Inc. and UB Foundation Services – nonprofit entities that are affiliated with the university and its private UB Foundation - purchased several contiguous parcels of land in 2012 and 2013 on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in the area of Main and High streets.

The parcels added up to nearly 1.5 acres upon which the new eight-story medical school was built. At the time, FNUB and UB Foundation Services also entered into a ground lease with the Niagara Frontier Transit Authority for an additional half acre that includes air rights above an NFTA subway station.

The State University of New York Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to authorize UB to purchase the land from FNUB and UB Foundation Services for $3,146,334 – the same amount it cost those affiliates to buy, maintain and resell the property.

The ground lease also will be assigned to UB at the same time the property deal goes through. The 99-year lease gives air rights to the university free of rent charges.

The NFTA agreed to the lease involving its Main-Allen subway station, in exchange for infrastructure improvements to the area above the station.

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