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Potential applicants encouraged to attend Better Buffalo Fund information session

by jmaloni


Mon, Oct 27th 2014 03:20 pm

Applications due Dec. 1; up to $30 million for transportation corridors and neighborhood commercial districts available

An information session for the Better Buffalo Fund, a $30 million account dedicated to projects that encourage density and growth along the city's transportation corridors and revitalize neighborhood commercial districts, will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Educational Opportunity Center, 555 Ellicott St., Buffalo.

This "Buffalo Billion" initiative will work to develop the "Main Streets" in Buffalo and enhance transit-oriented development around the city.

Applications are due Dec. 1. For more information on the Better Buffalo Fund and applications, visit https://esd.ny.gov/BusinessPrograms/BetterBuffaloFund.html.

"The Better Buffalo Fund aims to develop the human and physical assets in Western New York that will accelerate innovation and spur a thriving community," said Satish K. Tripathi, Western New York Regional Economic Development Council co-chair and University at Buffalo president. "We encourage eligible applicants who have projects that will create revitalized, accessible communities to apply."

"We want the best for Buffalo, and that means building on initiatives we are already moving forward on to develop a sustained, purposeful transformation of the region," said Howard A. Zemsky, WNYREDC co-chair and managing partner of Larkin Development Group. "The Better Buffalo Fund information session will help those with eligible projects to learn about the fund and application process."

"Gov. Cuomo and I share the same vision for building strong neighborhood centers that help enhance the quality of life offered by this funding commitment," said City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. "I'm pleased with Gov. Cuomo's collaborative and comprehensive approach with my administration to ensure that the 'Buffalo Billion' reaches its full potential and is inclusive of all citizens of Buffalo."

Empire State Development is administering a grant and revolving loan fund for transit-oriented development projects that emphasize growth within existing corridors and encourage alternative transportation and walkability. Up to $2 million in gap financing is available for projects that promote dense development (housing, employment and retail) within a quarter-mile walking distance of Buffalo transit stops on Bailey Avenue, Grant Street, Main Street, Niagara Street and Utica Street corridors. Projects are sought that encourage the use of multimodal transportation and stimulate pedestrian activity though retail and neighborhood-oriented businesses and services, quality public spaces and accessible walkways.

The revitalization strategy aims to 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, high-quality services, well-designed and friendly neighborhoods, and a wide array of assets that are accessible to all residents.

The Buffalo Main Streets Initiative, a program modeled on the New York State Main Street program, will assist in the revitalization of historic business districts and mixed-use neighborhood commercial districts. The program is considering grant requests ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 from nonprofit and neighborhood business associations in the City of Buffalo. Funds can be used for building renovations and public space enhancements in discrete, mixed-use target areas.

The Better Buffalo Main Street initiative aims to fund projects within the following general commercial corridors: 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. Anticipated impacts include improving physical infrastructure to attract and support private development; fostering dense, mixed-use redevelopment of the region's urban core and neighborhoods to attract and retain a dynamic workforce; and investing in transportation connections to improve access to employment and educational opportunities for existing and future residents.

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