This week, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership released a report that takes a closer look at the impact of Buffalo’s renaissance on the downtown housing market. Downtown Buffalo: Looking Ahead with a Clearer View also highlights the success of several economic development programs, including the Buffalo Building Reuse Project (BBRP). The goal of this report is to stimulate conversation and action that will keep Buffalo growing.
I’ve mentioned in past posts that I am a big fan of data and metrics. Data provides us with specific and indisputable evidence. The numbers in this report are compelling – they paint a picture of a healthy, growing economy. The report also reveals to us several concerns that must be addressed to continue this growth. Downtown is certainly improving, but as the market changes, so must our approach.
Since 2011, BBRP has successfully converted over 1 million square feet of vacant space into residential housing (click to tweet). As our report indicates, the downtown rental market has seen a significant increase in production and demand since 2011, and for-sale units are selling above market value. The population of downtown Buffalo has increased by over 10% in the last seven years.
Downtown Buffalo: Looking Ahead with a Clearer View suggests a need to identify new strategies, initiatives and projects to drive growth. We must maintain successful incentives (adaptive reuse) and develop new programs to address our downtown development goals (stimulate infill development). And we must invest our limited resources on specific geographic regions within downtown to create critical mass, drive demand and build complete neighborhoods.
Working hand-in-hand with the city, the Partnership has helped lead the change in downtown Buffalo and we look forward to driving new solutions in the months and years to come.