The housing marketing in Buffalo and Western New York has been one of the hottest in the county over the last several years with sales and rental prices rising substantially during the same time.

The large increase in the price of homes and apartments have put has also put a strain on the ability of people to find affordable housing. While there has been some affordable housing development in the Buffalo area over the years, the number of units that have been built has not been able to keep up with demand. There also has been a deficiency in the maintenance of the existing affordable housing that is available.

Given those facts, the latest announcements from government officials in Buffalo are welcome news to some; while the potential costs of that announcement have raised the eyebrows of others.

The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority announced that after more than a year of research and investigations, they have decided to demolish the current Marine Drive Apartments, adjacent to Canalside in downtown Buffalo, and rebuild the complex with new modern buildings.

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Constructed in the early 1950s, the Marine Drive Apartments were originally called Dante Place and consists of 616 apartment units spread across seven different 12-story brick towers on the edge of Buffalo's Erie Basin Marina. Over the years the more than 70-year-old apartment complex has fallen into disrepair and officials have determined ifs not feasible to rehab the structures.

When Marine Drive was built in 1951, it was the only thing on the waterfront... In the last 50 or so years, it’s become the worst thing on the waterfront. It does not fit.
-Gillian Brown, Executive Director of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority

The new complex will be developed into a mixture of townhomes with lots of green space and covered parking, three-story buildings, five-story story buildings, and perhaps a tower or two. The new structures will be built in phases to allow current residents to not be displaced. The first phase will construct buildings in the current parking lot and residents will move into the new units before tearing down the old ones.

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Officals are in the planning stages now, but this development is expected to cost taxpayers approximately $400 million and will take around 6 years to complete, with construction expected to be done by 2029.

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