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Buffalo agrees to lease for new impound lot location

The City of Buffalo will lease a new impound lot to replace the one it owns on Dart Street.

The Parking Department will contract with Elk Street Commerce Park to lease land and a building at 1 Babcock St. near the Buffalo River in the Seneca-Babcock neighborhood.

The lease includes an option to buy the property at the end of the 10-year term. The cost is $8,312 per month for the first five years of the lease and then $8,750 per month for the remaining five years, plus utilities.

The outdoor storage space for vehicles is about 4.15 acres, and the indoor office space is about 5,425 square feet.

The city will relocate the auto impound on Nov. 1, said Kevin Helfer, the city's parking and traffic commissioner.

The Common Council approved the agreement Tuesday.

In February, council members selected SUNY Buffalo State as the designated developer for the city's current auto impound lot, located at 166- 170 Dart St. next to the college.

The college was given 18 months from the time it became the designated developer to form plans for the land while it pays the city $1,000 a month, which would be applied to the purchase if the college decides to buy it. The city will keep the money if the college does not develop the site.

If Buffalo State buys the Dart Street location, that would offset the costs of the new lease, Helfer said Tuesday.

According to its website, Buffalo State issued a request for proposals last month seeking concept and development bids for the 8.8-acre parcel on Dart Street to further the college's strategic vision and to enhance the campus and surrounding community.

The college's vision for the parcel includes enhancing the appearance of the campus, neighborhood and the city, especially for those traveling along the western end of Route 198. The project should not negatively affect water quality or the ecological health of the Scajaquada Creek or the surrounding area. The development plan also would support revitalization efforts on Buffalo's West side consistent with Buffalo State's "commitment to civic and community engagement" and its position as an anchor institution for the city and SUNY's only urban-engaged campus, the website said.

The deadline for submission of proposals is Nov. 19. Early next year, the college will share the results of the request for proposals through a public exhibition to provide an opportunity for the campus and broader community to give input on the proposed concepts.

The final development plan will be subject to approval by the Common Council.

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