March 26, 2018
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Nearly $8.8 Million Awarded to Western NY Municipalities in Round 5 of Restore New York Communities Initiative

Governor Cuomo Announces Nearly $8.8 Million Awarded to Western NY Municipalities in Round 5 of Restore New York Communities Initiative

Seven Projects Receive Funding to Generate Economic Opportunities by Removing Blight and Revitalizing Neighborhoods

Nearly $81 Million Awarded to 71 Projects Statewide

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that nearly $8.8 million has been awarded to seven Western NY municipalities through Round 5 of the Restore New York Communities Initiative. Restore New York supports municipal revitalization efforts by awarding funding for projects that will reinvigorate downtowns and generate new economic opportunity in communities from Western New York to Long Island. Nearly $81 million was awarded to 71 municipalities statewide.

"Downtown communities are vital to keeping our economies thriving and to attracting businesses and families to put down their roots in New York," Governor Cuomo said. "The Restore New York Communities Initiative recognizes communities teeming with potential and invests in their transformation and their future, and turns them into neighborhoods New Yorkers are proud to call home."

"Traveling across the State, I see the many buildings in communities that have great possibilities to be restored with the charm they once had," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "With this Restore New York funding, we're committed to ensuring that our localities have the resources they need to pursue new development projects and transform abandoned properties. The Restore New York initiative continues to work with local leaders and stakeholders to unleash the full potential of economic development opportunities across the State."

Round 5 of the Restore New York Communities Initiative was enacted in the FY 2017 State Budget, and Empire State Development was designated to implement the program. Cities, towns and villages were all eligible to apply for support for projects that include demolition, deconstruction, rehabilitation or reconstruction of vacant, abandoned, condemned and surplus properties. Projects located in economically distressed communities were emphasized and encouraged.

ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Restore New York partners with municipalities to back projects that can have a transformative impact on neighborhoods and downtowns throughout the state. With our support, cities and towns are tearing down vacant, blighted buildings and rehabilitating outdated structures to help revitalize their community and generate new economic opportunities."

Western NY Projects

  • City of Buffalo - $3,998,549 - The project will support revitalization efforts in the Northland Corridor by demolishing an abandoned building at 777 Northland Avenue, as well as restoring and rehabilitating 537 East Delavan Avenue. The demolition will result in creating a shovel-ready development site to attract new investment to the area, and the restoration will create a space for new business.
  • City of Niagara Falls - $2,000,000 - Six buildings will be demolished and reconstructed as a mixed-use building, housing 36 residential apartments and a commercial outlet on the ground floor in the city's Third Street Entertainment and Cultural District.
  • City of Dunkirk - $1,000,000 - Rehabilitation of a vacant four-story building at 23-25 Lake Shore Drive in the city's downtown harbor front district into a mixed-use facility featuring retail and/or restaurant space and market-rate loft apartments.
  • City of Jamestown - $1,000,000 - The Jamestown Vikings Lodge at 318 Washington Street has been vacant for the last ten years. The project will rehabilitate the three-floor building into a mixed-use commercial facility.
  • City of Lockport - $500,000 - The rehabilitation of 13 and 17 West Main Street into viable mixed-use facilities at the gateway to downtown Lockport, within walking distance of the Erie Canal and Lockport's historic Flight of Five Locks.
  • City of North Tonawanda - $161,167 - Demolition of the former fire training tower on Bridge Street to prepare the property for a future mixed-use development that can serve as a potential catalyst to the future of Tonawanda Island.
  • Village of Blasdell - $100,000 - Two long-vacant buildings on South Park Avenue will be rehabilitated and upgraded to attract new residential and commercial tenants.

A complete list of projects can be found here.

Senator Tim Kennedy said, "With this funding, Buffalo's East Side is once again seeing a significant investment made by New York State - one that will spur economic growth and help transform city neighborhoods. Thank you to Governor Cuomo for continuing to focus state efforts on fueling Buffalo's revitalization and creating a thriving community for future generations to call home."

Senator Catharine Young said, "Behind the aging facades and vacant storefronts of many downtown buildings are architectural and historical gems with the potential to revitalize city neighborhoods and boost further investment and growth. That goal moved forward today with the exciting announcement that $8.8 million in Restore NY funding is on its way to Western New York to support seven projects, including two in my district which I was proud to support. The Vikings Temple Lodge in Jamestown and a Lake Shore Drive property in Dunkirk will each receive $1 million in restoration monies, investments that are poised to complement major redevelopment ongoing in these areas and breathe new life into these valuable properties. I thank Governor Cuomo for his support and look forward to the bright future ahead for these communities."

Assemblymember Sean Ryan said, "Western New York has been battling against vacant, blighted structures throughout our region. This funding will allow us to take underutilized properties and turn them into assets for the surrounding communities. The resurgence Western New York has seen over the past few years has been amazing, and this funding will help us continue to grow. I thank the Governor for leading on this project, and for supporting the continued development of Western New York."

Assemblymember Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes said, "Restore NY funds have been a critical and successful tool used in Buffalo's rebirth; whether for the demolition of unsafe dilapidated structures to create shovel-ready sites or to repurpose vacant buildings through the restoration process. Our city and region would not be where it is today without the Restore NY Program."


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