Applications are now available through the Better Buffalo Fund that aims to develop the “Main Streets” in Buffalo and enhance transit-oriented development around the city. Up to $30 million will be dedicated to initiatives that encourage density and growth along transportation corridors and revitalize neighborhood commercial corridors. Applications, due December 1, 2014.
“Buffalo’s diverse neighborhoods and vibrant attractions are part of what makes it one of the most exciting cities around, and with this initiative we’re going to make it easier than ever to see all that the Queen City has to offer,” Governor Cuomo said. “The momentum is growing in Western New York with Buffalo leading the way, and I believe The Better Buffalo Fund will keep things moving in the right direction.”
Empire State Development will administer 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 ¼ mile walking distance of Buffalo transit stops on Bailey Avenue, Grant Street, Main Street, Niagara Street and Utica Street corridors. 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 are sought.
The revitalization strategy 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, high-quality services, well-designed and friendly neighborhoods, and a wide array of assets which 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 will consider grant requests ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 from non-profit 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.