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First land trust effort in Fruit Belt is growing, but so is skepticism

The neighborhood just east of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus thrived through the 1950s. Residents said it began to change around the time race riots hit nearby Jefferson Avenue in the late 1960s, then youth gangs roamed the Fruit Belt streets in the 1970s. The neighborhood became more poverty stricken and viewed as a mecca for crime, even though some said the neighborhood was never as dangerous as its reputation made it out to be.

Over time, the neighborhood became older and quieter. Then the development of the Medical Campus brought attention to it, along with a concern: If the neighborhood becomes the hot real estate market some believe it might, will development increase real estate values – and tax bills – and force residents from their homes?

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