Dan Leonard

Dan Leonard, AICP Headshot

About Dan Leonard, AICP

Senior Director, Economic Development

ECIDA’s Adaptive Reuse Program is Critical to WNY’s Revitalization

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.

Partnership Hosts Forum on Green Code Implementation

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.

Mayor Brown Signs Green Code Into Law

Congratulations to Mayor Byron Brown, the Buffalo Common Council, the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning and the entire City of Buffalo for this week’s official signing of the Green Code, Buffalo’s first comprehensive rewrite of its zoning ordinance in more than 60 years.  The code represents a landmark step forward in the development and revitalization of the City, its buildings, streets and public spaces.  It has been produced through a comprehensive public input process over the course of more than six years and has involved thousands of residents, businesses and key stakeholders throughout the City.  The result is the establishment of a new form-based development code, the likes of which has only been established, city-wide, in two other US metros: Denver and Miami.  This framework will regulate new growth focused upon achieving sustainable, mixed-use communities and appropriate neighborhood design through a more predictable development process.

Buffalo Building Reuse Project (BBRP)

Currently in its fourth year, the Buffalo Building Reuse Project (BBRP) loan fund has proved to be an important catalyst for downtown development. Thanks to a recent infusion of $10 million from five local banks – Evans Bank, M&T Bank, First Niagara, HSBC Bank and Key Bank, as well as the New York Business Development Corporation – the program is now stronger than ever. These funds represent a major investment for downtown Buffalo and a huge boost to the BBRP loan program.

How Do You Commute? Take the Survey!

Over the past few years, the Partnership has led the private sector’s involvement in the development and implementation of One Region Forward, Buffalo Niagara’s regional sustainability plan. Transportation is one of the give major components (or “big ideas”) of One Region Forward.

The plan complied and analyzed data related to transportation patterns in our region and many of the results are startling, if not alarming. According to data from One Region Forward, we spend more time commuting than ever before. Compared to 1970, we drive twice as much, with more people driving alone.

Redeveloping Downtown: Transit Options Canalside-Cobblestone

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) is evaluating the potential expansion of its metro-rail service; a 6.4-mile light rail line that runs from downtown Buffalo to the University at Buffalo’s  South Campus.

Since before its original debut some 30 years ago, Western New York residents have been talking about extending the line four additional miles to the University’s larger North Campus.

Building our Region, Investing in Transit

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) is currently in the process of assessing transit options at both ends of the Metro Rail. The system has served Buffalo along its 6.4 mile route since its completion in the mid-1980s. This line has remained relatively unchanged for 30 years.

However, the economic and transportation needs of the city and region have evolved in recent years. Growth and development in the Canalside and Cobblestone districts have brought many more people to the southern end of Metro Rail, and with additional development planned, the popularity of these areas will likely continue to increase.