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.
There is no better way to get a vast view of Buffalo’s changing economy and skyline than on a boat. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership held our annual all-council meeting in mid-August onboard the Grand Lady that set sail on the Buffalo river and along the Lake Erie shoreline.
Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is a growing trend in urban redevelopment that integrates some form of mass transit into a project based on its location, design, amenities and market appeal. We asked one of our Development Advisory Council members, Paul Ciminelli, President and CEO of Ciminelli Real Estate, to discuss the growing national trend of TOD and how his company has implemented this into its latest project.
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.
As part of our Government Affairs programming, we kicked-off our first of two Capital Conversation events for 2017 with a look at New York’s prevailing wage mandate and its impact on taxpayers and economic development. E.J. McMahon, founder and research director of the Empire Center came to Buffalo to detail his new report: Prevailing Waste: New York’s Costly Public Works Pay Mandate. Our event coincides with an effort underway in Albany to expand the prevailing wage mandate by attaching it some private projects.
The Buffalo Niagara region is at a crucial juncture in its revitalization and efforts to halt a 50-year population decline. The time is now to move forward as one and work together to achieve the prosperous and vibrant metropolitan area we all know is possible. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership, along with the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, brought in a team of leading national economic development experts to provide guidance on how to best maintain and capitalize on our current momentum.