The University at Buffalo announced Friday that it has purchased land at 960 Washington St. for $1.2 million, the first of three parcels it is assembling in the area of Main and High streets for construction of a new medical school.

Efforts are under way to purchase the other properties by the end of the year, a UB official said.

UB plans to relocate the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences from its South Campus to the downtown Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus by 2016 in a project estimated to cost $375 million.

“In moving our medical school downtown, where it will be ideally aligned with local hospitals and other key life sciences partners, UB is staying true to our roots in more ways than one,” UB President Satish K. Tripathi said in a statement.

The acquisition was executed by UB Foundation Services Inc., which acquired the parcel from Evergreen Real Estate, whose partners are developer Michael Joseph and businessman Kevin Brinkworth.

The partners have owned the property since 2005.

Joseph served on UB’s Foundation board from 2002 through 2008, before UB began contemplating relocation of its medical school to the downtown site, according to UB officials.

FNUB Inc., an affiliate of the UB Foundation, is continuing negotiations on other properties to accommodate the first phase of the project. Separate discussions continue between UB and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority regarding the Main-Allen transit station, which the university would like to incorporate into the medical school building.

In May, UB selected the international architectural firm of HOK – Helmuth, Obata & Kassabaum – to lead the building design in preparation for an anticipated groundbreaking next year in the fall.

UB has reported that it plans to build a 12-, nine- or seven-story medical school with more than a half-million square feet of space.