Buffalo’s revitalization isn’t just happening within city limits. Communities throughout the region are using economic development tools to their benefit.
Town of Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa recently spoke to members of our Development Advisory Council about plans to redevelop the area surrounding the Boulevard Mall along Niagara Falls Boulevard. Designated as a Qualified Opportunity Zone, the area exhibits potential for long-term investment and economic growth.
Established in 2017 as a part of federal tax reform, the Opportunity Zones program is a federal incentive designed to spur long-term economic development in distressed communities across the country.
Long-term investment in Opportunity Zones is made possible by a financial mechanism known as an Opportunity Fund. Investors in Opportunity Funds get a break or an exemption on paying capital gains taxes based on the length of their commitment to the fund.
New York State has established 43 Opportunity Zones in Western New York, including the area on Niagara Falls Boulevard around the Boulevard Mall. Supervisor Kulpa sees great potential for redevelopment in this area of Amherst. According to Kulpa, the diversity of the population and wide variation in current infrastructure are promising and could attract significant investment through an Opportunity Fund providing the framework for a wide array of retail, housing, and public space development.
Kulpa also thinks that transit-oriented development (TOD) is possible if the area is redeveloped. TOD is a trend in urban revitalization that incorporates some form of mass-transit into redevelopment projects. TOD promotes accessibility and supports density growth without creating vehicular traffic.
The Partnership’s Development Advisory Council brings together leading development and real estate professionals throughout Western New York who aim to support policy, collaboration and educational opportunities around sustainable development of the Buffalo Niagara region.
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