NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — Niagara University is teaming up with the city of Niagara Falls to help revitalize some of its long-neglected neighborhoods.

The plan targets the part of the city south of Pine Avenue to Niagara Street and stretching from Portage, all the way west to 4th Street.

That part of the city has one of the highest concentration of dilapidated, boarded up, and condemned houses and buildings.

The three-phase plan kicks off in April with 600 NU freshmen going in to some of the worst neighborhoods.

"The first is to get the curb appeal back into the neighborhood,” said Patti Wrobel, Levesque Institute executive director. “To clean it up, and so that people can really have a little bit of vision, of seeing something that's clean and available. And with that, you start to populate the neighborhood. That brings in interest and a need for small businesses."

The second phase, which includes facades and landscaping, will follow in May.

The third part of the plan will provide incentives for people interested in renovating city owned properties.

"We're trying to create a situation where the whole image of this neighborhood is redefined and where people start to see it as a good place to not just to live but a place that's within easy reach of recreational opportunities and job opportunities as well," said Paul Dyster, (D) Niagara Falls mayor.