Upcoming community information sessions
√ Second round includes expanded building renovation program plus $4M in additional funding
Empire State Development reminds commercial and mixed-use property owners that applications are available for the second round of the east side commercial districts program in Buffalo. Additional community information sessions have been scheduled for Aug. 17 and 18.
A press release explained, “This program is creating an expanded building renovation program in four investment areas – Jefferson Avenue Commercial District, MLK Park Business District, Broadway Fillmore and Kensington Bailey – to improve the business climate, combat commercial vacancies, and contribute to the corridors’ overall revitalization. The program, which launched with $2 million in funding, will receive an additional $1 million for each of the four districts, bringing the program’s funding total to $6 million.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “With the launch of applications for round two of the east side commercial districts program, we will begin to see capital investments that will revitalize these commercial districts, developing and strengthening businesses, and increasing mixed-use opportunities that will better serve Buffalo neighborhoods.”
Applications are due Friday, Sept. 16, and are available at the website for each local program administrator (LPA) – Broadway Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services (BFNHS); Citizens’ Alliance Inc. in partnership with the Black Chamber of Commerce; and University District Community Development Association (UDCDA).
In addition, each LPA will hold community information sessions. See details below and links for flyers:
5:30-7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 17
UDCDA’s Office, 995 Kensington Ave.
Questions? Essence Sweat: [email protected]
4-5:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 18
Three Stories Café (first floor), 1021 Broadway
Questions? Brandi Barrett: [email protected]
12:30-1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 17
Group Ministries, 1333 Jefferson Ave.
Questions? Sydney Brown: [email protected]
The program guidelines have been revised to allow for up to $100,000 in grant assistance available to commercial property owners with buildings in need of exterior and interior repairs.
Empire State Development (ESD), the state’s chief economic development agency, is working with district LPAs to administer the program and allocate the additional $1 million from this round to each of the four target districts, inclusive of architecture/engineering support and a contingency fund. Working with an LPA ensures decisions are made at a local level with oversight from the administrator, a community nonprofit. Building owners are required to contribute 10% of the total project costs.
In September 2020, more than $1 million was awarded as part of the first round of grants made through the east side commercial district program. Twenty-one awardees received up to $50,000 in funding for exterior and/or interior repairs to commercial properties located within the four targeted commercial districts.