This week, the City of Buffalo released its highly anticipated Housing Opportunities Strategy. This project, initiated in early 2016 by nationally-renown urban revitalization consultants, czb LLC, is a comprehensive review of the City’s housing market with an eye towards conditions impacting housing access for citizens and promoting affordability within its product. The goal of the report is to accurately define the challenges of housing access and advocate for effective strategies to address those challenges.
Empire State Development Corporation has been a partner and leader in the revitalization of the Buffalo Niagara region. New York State’s economic development arm has been a central pivot for collaboration through the Regional Economic Development Council and a key organizing agency for our area’s priorities in public investment to stimulate new private growth. Beyond the agency’s support for signature projects such as Riverbend’s Tesla gigafactory and the Northland Workforce Training Center, Empire State Development offers a number of ongoing programs aimed at incrementally growing key sectors of the Buffalo Niagara economy.
Urban revitalization in Western New York isn’t exclusive to the City of Buffalo. Throughout the region, smaller cities and villages are reinvesting in their urban cores, establishing live, work and play environments. These efforts are capitalizing upon uniquely historic building stocks and an inherent character that can’t be authentically recreated in new, built-from-scratch communities.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s five Economic Councils help sharpen our focus on key industries driving our regional economy and the issues most important to local employers.
This past month, Buffalo saw the approval of a number of significant development projects in its neighborhoods, including 1111 Elmwood, a mixed-use redevelopment of the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues. These projects implement the smart growth principles that our city and our region have prioritized; fostering sustainable new investment on urban sites already served by infrastructure and public services.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership has announced the Solving the Talent Challenge: 2017 Manufacturing Month Summit, an informative event on the Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) system, to be held on October 12, 2017.
The Buffalo Niagara region is unique. Our geography, our population and our economic make-up are not exactly alike to any other metropolitan area. However, despite differences, we must do our best to learn from other metros as we collectively work to build a better economy and community. But it is critical that we choose the right places to look; places that are most similar to Buffalo Niagara, face familiar economic challenges and have like capacity and resources to address those challenges.
As talk of extending Buffalo’s Metro Rail beyond its current footprint is becoming a more serious conversation, there is a growing sense that Transit Orientated Development (TOD) must be a part of Buffalo Niagara’s economic development future.
More than 1,800 permanent new jobs have been produced and greater than 4 million square feet of vacant derelict properties in the City of Buffalo has been redeveloped and revitalized as a result of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency’s (ECIDA) Adaptive Reuse program. Simply put, this program is one of the most impactful and efficient economic development tools available to employers in Western New York.
On Wednesday, February 22, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Development Advisory Council hosted officials from the City of Buffalo for an informational forum on the recently approved Green Code zoning legislation. This forum focused upon the new approvals processes that projects within the City must navigate under the code. It featured presentations from staff from the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning as well as the City’s implementation consulting team.