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Image courtesy of Preservation Buffalo Niagara
Image courtesy of Preservation Buffalo Niagara

Preservation Buffalo Niagara secures seed funding for placemaking projects on Grant Street

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Fri, Sep 4th 2020 11:40 am

Public encouraged to participate in upcoming asset mapping workshops and surveys

Preservation Buffalo Niagara announced it has received a $12,000 grant from AARP’s Community Challenge Grant and a $1,500 grant from the City of Buffalo “Love Your Block” fund for placemaking work on Grant Street.

"We are so grateful that the AARP and City of Buffalo ‘Love Your Block’ program chose to support Grant Street as this important historic corridor works to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and retain its status as a vibrant commercial hub for the West Side of Buffalo. We are excited to work with business owners and community members on needed signage and beautification projects,” said Jessie Fisher, executive director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara. “Our sincere thanks to AARP and the City of Buffalo ‘Love Your Block’ program for the generous support that made this project possible to help make this community a great place for all ages."

These grants will be used for the purchase and distribution of public garbage receptacles, purchase and distribution of flags for property owners, and multilingual wayfinding signs.

In preliminary survey feedback, area residents responded that diversity and affordability in the Grant Street corridor are assets they would like to preserve and highlight. As a placemaking measure, property owners on Grant Street can sign up for a free flagpole, flag mount and flag of their choice to display the pride for their country of origin or cultural identity.

Area residents have also expressed that improving sanitation on Grant Street is of high importance, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With this grant, 34 garbage receptacles will be distributed on Grant Street or on adjacent intersecting commercial streets such as West Ferry – property owners interested in signing up to receive these items can sign up at https://pbnsaves.org/grant-street-aarp/.

To assist the commercial district, multilingual wayfinding signs will be distributed along the corridor in time for the holiday shopping season, highlighting businesses and area landmarks. Additionally, any remaining funding still available beyond these three projects will be available for stakeholder organizations to fund small placemaking projects and work of their own choosing as an “adopt-a-block” program, such as funds to cover the costs of installing or repairing planter boxes, or repairing an awning, or to purchase maintenance tools. To receive more information about this program, email [email protected].

This funding builds upon the existing planning work for Grant Street being conducted through the offices of Assemblyman Sean Ryan and Buffalo Common Council member David Rivera by GObike Buffalo and Preservation Buffalo Niagara. Residents are encouraged to participate in ongoing surveys and upcoming asset mapping workshops on Sept. 16 and 23 by visiting https://pbnsaves.org/what-we-do/grant-st/ and https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GrantStBFLO.

"I am very pleased to hear about this grant. Grant Street is a place that needs development and I have prioritized it for streetscaping and other improvements,” Rivera said. “These grants will help achieve some of those necessary upgrades."

“On behalf of the Westside Business and Taxpayers Association, I would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation. We know this grant will make a big difference in our community and have a lasting effect on the quality of life in our community,” said Elaine Grisanti, president of the Westside Business and Taxpayers Association. “We thank Preservation Buffalo Niagara and extend our hand in helping with any future projects. Good things happen when we all work together!”

“Connecting old Buffalo to new arrivers, from refugees and immigrants to students at Buffalo State, Grant Street fuses the best of Buffalo,” said Justin Booth, executive director of GObike. “These placemaking investments will enhance the established Grant Street district identity and augment the streetscape improvements we're planning for the corridor. We thank the AARP and the ‘Love Your Block’ programs for their investments.”

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