Community organizations and private developers encouraged to apply for funding to invest in the revitalization of downtown Buffalo
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced funding applications are available through the second round of the $30 million Better Buffalo Fund. The Better Buffalo Fund is a vital component of the Buffalo Billion, and is dedicated to projects that encourage density and growth along transportation corridors and revitalize neighborhood commercial districts. Applications, due March 28, are available here and a map of the sites can be viewed here.
“As Western New York’s economy continues to grow, we must ensure Buffalo has a strong, vibrant downtown with the capacity to be its anchor,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will help continue this progress and ensure that Buffalo remains a city on the move.”
The Better Buffalo Fund is crucial to promoting the redevelopment of downtown Buffalo, attracting a dynamic workforce and improving access to employment and educational opportunities. The first round of the Better Buffalo Fund awarded a total $11,722,500 to 21 projects. Applicants for this round may seek grants and revolving loan funds for one of two initiatives: Transit Oriented Development or Buffalo Main Streets.
Transit Oriented Development
Investing in transit oriented development will connect Buffalo’s centers of activity with each other in order to help build the city’s reputation as a vibrant, thriving city with 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 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 spaces and accessible walkways. The target region for this development is within ¼ 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 spaces is crucial to successfully revitalizing historic business districts and mixed-use neighborhoods in and around downtown Buffalo.
Grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 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, Bailey, Broadway/Fillmore, Chippewa Street, East Delavan, Elmwood Village, Fillmore/MLK, Grant/Amherst, Grant/Ferry, Hertel, Jefferson Avenue, Kaisertown, Lovejoy, Lower Niagara/Lakeview, Main Street, Seneca-Caz, South Park, Tonawanda/Ontario and Upper Niagara Street.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard A. Zemsky said: “With targeted grants funding mixed-use development projects, the Better Buffalo Fund is revitalizing Buffalo’s commercial corridors and bringing residents back to the city’s neighborhoods. With the first round of funding already strengthening our communities, this second round will help to secure Buffalo’s economic future.”
New York State Homes & Community Renewal Commissioner Jamie S. Rubin said: “Under Governor Cuomo's leadership we are working to breathe new life into communities and make them attractive, affordable places to live and work. HCR is excited to be part of Buffalo's resurgence and we look forward to seeing the city continue to thrive."
Satish K. Tripathi, Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and University at Buffalo President, said: “Efficient infrastructure and revitalized, accessible communities will increase the Buffalo region’s overall attractiveness to businesses. This initiative, with Governor Cuomo’s commitment, continues to develop human and physical assets in Western New York that will accelerate innovation and spur a thriving community.”
City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said: “This money connects the employment opportunities created by the Buffalo Billion to neighborhood centers throughout Buffalo. Without strong neighborhood centers and the enhanced quality of life offered by this funding commitment, the Buffalo Billion cannot reach its full potential. Governor Cuomo deserves credit for the comprehensive approach that he has taken to economic development that is inclusive of all residents of Buffalo.”
Senator Tim Kennedy said: “As Western New York continues to undergo unprecedented growth, the Better Buffalo Fund is providing an important and necessary focus on smart growth. We want there to be connectivity between the places where people work, live and spend their leisure time. A well-planned strategy will result in vibrant neighborhoods that provide safe places for families to live, work and play. This initiative is playing a vital role in the revitalization of the City of Buffalo.”
Senator Marc Panepinto said: “More main streets and neighborhoods than ever are able to take part in Buffalo’s transformation because of the Better Buffalo Fund. Governor Cuomo is committed to investing in Buffalo through programs that build strong and vibrant cities.”
Assemblyman Michael Kearns said: “Nice, well-functioning neighborhoods located an easy commute away from well-paying jobs add up to a better Buffalo, which is what this fund is all about creating. The investment in transportation results in employment for people who may not be able to afford a car and provides a way for residents to get to educational opportunities that will lead to greater career opportunities.”
Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes said: “The Better Buffalo Fund has helped bring attention to commercial corridors all over the City of Buffalo, creating a synergy and fostering collaboration for these organizations to share ideas and best practices. The second round of funding builds on the momentum and success of round one funding. Governor Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative continues to bring visible changes to our streetscapes and encourage private investment throughout Buffalo.”
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said: “The Better Buffalo fund is helping to build a brighter future for residents and businesses in the City of Buffalo. By focusing on improving neighborhoods and ensuring they are well connected to new and existing jobs, the Better Buffalo fund continues the great economic progress that we have been seeing in Buffalo and Western New York. The initiatives created by the Buffalo Billion are helping to transform our economic future. The Better Buffalo fund is the next step we need to create and strengthen dense, mixed-use neighborhoods, and provide reliable transportation to schools and employment.”
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said: “With all the momentum and growing employment opportunities in Buffalo, it is critical that we also connect the neighborhoods along our existing transit corridors to new jobs. The Better Buffalo Fund puts the funding in place to accomplish that. I thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing this need.”