September 19, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Application Period Now Open for Fourth Round of $40 Million Better Buffalo Fund

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Application Period Now...

Community Organizations and Private Developers Encouraged to Apply for Funding to Invest in the Revitalization of Buffalo 

Map of Target Investment Areas, Including New Areas Broadway and Main Street Here

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the application period is now open for Round 4 of the $40 million Better Buffalo Fund.  The Better Buffalo Fund is dedicated to projects that revitalize neighborhood commercial districts and encourage density and growth along transportation corridors.  For Round 4, the geography for the Fund has been extended to include Broadway (between Cedar and Mortimer Streets) and Main Street (between Mohawk and Seneca Streets). 

"Our investments in Buffalo and Western New York have paid off for these communities, but we're not done yet," Governor Cuomo said. "We're launching another round of the Better Buffalo Fund to support the revitalization of neighborhoods, improve commuter access to transit stops and walkable areas, and help ensure the resurgence and economic progress in Western New York continues."

"As a Western New Yorker, I have seen firsthand the investment in community development and transportation corridors supported by the Better Buffalo Fund," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. "Our economic development strategy across the state has been focused on creating neighborhood-driven solutions to define the future of New York. This latest round continues the progress that has resulted in dozens of projects completed or underway thanks to targeted investment across the City of Buffalo."

The launch of Round 4 builds on the previous three rounds of the Better Buffalo Fund, which awarded more than $27 million to 43 projects. These projects are renovating nearly 500 residential units and more than 342,000 square feet of store front and commercial space, while also leveraging over $216 million in private investment in the City of Buffalo.

The application and materials for Round 4 are available here, and are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, November 8, 2019. An informational session will be held on Thursday, October 3 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 77 Goodell Street, Buffalo. Those interested in attending should RSVP to [email protected].

Four target areas were removed from the program - Bailey, Broadway/Fillmore, Fillmore/MLK and Jefferson Avenue - as funding is being allocated to those areas through specific programming in the $50 million East Side Economic Development Corridor Fund.

Applicants for the fourth round of Better Buffalo Fund may seek funding for one of two initiatives: Transit- Oriented Development or Buffalo Main Streets.  

Transit-Oriented Development 

Investing in transit-oriented development will help connect residents and visitors in commercial hubs throughout Buffalo and build on the city's reputation as a vibrant, thriving city. It will also support modern amenities and infrastructure, well-designed and friendly neighborhoods, and a wide array of assets which are accessible to all residents. 

Up to $2 million in gap financing, loan or grant, is available for projects that encourage the use of multi-modal transportation and stimulate pedestrian activity though retail and neighborhood-oriented businesses and services, quality public space, and accessible walkways. The target region for this development is within a quarter-mile walking distance of Buffalo transit stops on Bailey Avenue, Grant Street, Main Street, Niagara Street, Utica Street and Fillmore Avenue corridors.

Buffalo Main Streets Initiative 

Renovating buildings and enhancing public space is crucial to successfully revitalizing historic business districts and mixed-use neighborhoods in and around downtown Buffalo. 

Grants ranging from $50,000 to $1,000,000 are available for non-profit and neighborhood business associations in the City of Buffalo that will renovate some of the most promising spaces in the downtown area. The Buffalo Main Streets Initiative is targeting Allentown, Broadway, Chippewa Street, East Delavan, Elmwood Village, Grant/Amherst, Grant/Ferry, Hertel, Kaisertown, Lovejoy, Lower Niagara/Lakeview, Main Street, Seneca-Caz, South Park, Tonawanda/Ontario, Upper Niagara Street and Connecticut Street corridors.  

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and CEO & Commissioner-designate Eric Gertler said, "These two new target areas will expand the reach of the Better Buffalo Fund, which has made tremendous inroads as we continue to foster the economic development and transformation of Buffalo's neighborhoods."

New York State Homes & Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Governor Cuomo's revitalization strategy continues to create a better Buffalo by empowering targeted investment in the city's future, energizing the entire region and harnessing additional millions in private sector funds. With an emphasis on transit and neighborhood-oriented improvements, this latest round of funding dovetails with HCR's economic development initiatives in Buffalo over the last eight years, which include investing over $200 million to create or preserve more than 2,600 affordable homes for nearly 6,000 residents."

Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said, "I thank Governor Cuomo for continuing to invest in the City of Buffalo and our success. This $40 million in targeted grants through the Better Buffalo Fund will support ongoing progress in our neighborhoods and maintain our positive economic momentum as we continue to build Buffalo as an equitable city of opportunity for all."

Senator Tim Kennedy said, "The Better Buffalo Fund continues to provide an important and necessary focus on smart growth, with a strategic emphasis on building connectivity between the places where people work, live, and play. This initiative is playing a vital role in the revitalization of the City of Buffalo, and with continued investment, will continue to build vibrant neighborhoods along accessible transportation networks."

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, "The Governor's $40 million Better Buffalo Fund has been a critical resource and catalyst helping to revitalize some of the city's struggling commercial districts and busy transportation corridors.  Now, with the 4th Round of the application process underway, we will be able to keep the momentum going in stabilizing neglected neighborhoods by bringing back residents, jobs, commuter access and increased density."

Assemblymember Sean Ryan said, "The Better Buffalo Fund has been investing in Buffalo's future by providing funding for initiatives geared towards supporting and enhancing projects that help us to continue the development we've seen across Buffalo.  This program has helped neighborhoods all over Buffalo embrace their historic past, while encouraging density and growth, and I look forward to seeing what projects move forward as a result of this process.  This funding has been a vital part of the resurgence we've seen in Buffalo, and I thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership and investment in Western New York."

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