Fifteen downtown property owners were awarded matching grants to assist in building repairs, upgrades and conversions. Buffalo Place Inc. oversaw the $500,000 New York Main Street Program grant from the New York State Department of Housing and Community Renewal and the New York State Housing Trust Fund that was announced December 2018.
There were a few news nuggets in the project list. The biggest is Ellicott Development’s plan to convert the upper floors of the former Hens & Kelly Department Store building at Main and Mohawk to residential use with commercial space on the first floor. The property was most recently occupied by the Erie County Department of Social Services. Also significant are plans by the owners of 410 Main Street next to the Liberty Building to expose the building’s historic façade, Priam Enterprise’s plan to install a replacement cornice on the Dun Building, and Jerry Nelson’s façade repairs to 300 Main Street, the first step in converting the building’s upper floors to residential.
Buffalo Place has successfully administered three previous New York Main Street program grants in 2007, 2011, and 2015. The grants have totaled $1 million in downtown building renovation and streetscape improvements. Twenty-three projects in the 400, 500, 600, and 700 blocks of Main Street were assisted by the grants, leveraging $4.5 million in private investment.