A year ago we talked about the formations of the Northland Corridor project, which started with the start of the acquisition of 50 acres of industrial properties in the Northland-Beltline Industrial Corridor. The land, located on the city’s East Side, was being assembled to create a business park focused on the manufacturing and energy sectors. The premise is to acquire the properties, restore them to being operable, thus creating a new manufacturing hub on the city’s East Side.
Yesterday, Mayor Brown announced that Governor Cuomo has procured $1.9 million via Restore NY funds to help move the project forward. The funds are being allocated towards the development of two buildings and the demolition of two buildings. Ultimately, the work will go a long way towards creating a vision that will lead to the creation of new manufacturing sites and a $44 million training facility (similar to brownfield redevelopment efforts recently seen in South Buffalo with Solar City).
“We thank Governor Cuomo for approving the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation’s (BUDC) application for these funds. These dollars are key to our efforts to revitalize our City’s East Side and provide employment and training opportunities for nearby residents,” Mayor Brown said.
The City of Buffalo is also dedicating $4 million to the project. Additional funding will come from the Buffalo Billion.
An accessible labor force, established road, rail, and utility infrastructure, and the potential for land assembly make the Northland Corridor an ideal location for the city’s next manufacturing center – 50 acres of vacant or underutilized land and over 700,000 SF of industrial buildings.
“With this funding from New York State, we can advance redevelopment plans for the other properties in the Northland Corridor and begin to make a larger and more significant difference in the neighborhood sooner than we had anticipated,” said David A. Stebbins, Executive Vice President, BUDC.
The $1,912,028 in Restore NY funding will be used for the following portions of the massive project:
- $728,176 for renovations to 612 Northland Ave., which includes part of 537 E. Delavan Ave.
- $724,851 for renovations to the Eastern Plant building, at 537 E. Delavan Ave.
- $378,000 for demolition of 777 Northland Ave.
- $81,000 for demolition of 1681 Fillmore Ave.
At a recent community meeting, attendees were informed about further details of the project, which includes the construction of a Workforce Training Center and the overall blueprint of 683 Northland Avenue. They were also told about the upcoming timetable of events:
- January-June 2017: M/WBE and Workforce Outreach
- February 2017: Completion of Neighborhood Strategy
- March 2017: Start of select demolition of 537 E. Delavan Ave.
- April-May 2017: Preliminary building preparation work at 683 Northland Ave.
- Summer 2017: Construction of Northland Ave. street improvements
- Summer 2017: Construction of Workforce Training Center at 683 Northland Ave.
- Summer 2018: Completion and opening of the WNY Workforce Training Center
“One of the key elements of this game-changing project is the participation of neighborhood residents and stakeholders. We appreciate the considerable interest and input we’ve received and will continue to foster an open dialogue as this ambitious and complicated project moves through its various phases,” Mayor Brown said.
Attendees at the meeting were also introduced to members of Gilbane Construction Management team, which will be overseeing the project.
“The community meeting further reflects the partnership between the community and city,” said Masten District Council Member Ulysees O. Wingo, who sponsored the City’s application to the state for the Restore NY funds in the Common Council in September.
Local partners on the project include: the 3480 Group, run by Thurman Thomas, Buffalo-based architecture firm, Foit-Albert Associates, and three other minority and women-owned companies, TechEdge Consulting, CASNY and Performance Solutions Services, Inc.
According to The City, the Gilbane team members have signed the Buffalo Opportunity Pledge, and will utilize the workers from disadvantaged and diverse communities located in close proximity to the East Side site.