Three Projects Selected to Increase Downtown’s Competitiveness for Private Investment
First round of Buffalo Building Reuse Project infrastructure funding allocated
BUFFALO, NY – Directors of the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC) today voted unanimously to recommend that $1.25 million in Buffalo Building Reuse Project (BBRP) funds be invested to advance three key infrastructure projects in downtown Buffalo. $11.25 million in funds were allocated to BBRP by Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown in January, 2012 and were later partially matched by National Grid.
Projects set to receive funding include:
• Streetscape enhancements associated with the Genesee Street Gateway & Streetscape project bounded by Main, Chippewa, and Genesee Streets
• Additional streetscape enhancements along Chippewa Street from Main Street to Elmwood Avenue
• Advanced design and engineering work for Perry Street, to further design work already prepared by private neighborhood stakeholders.
Projects were selected based on compatibility with BBRP, a yearlong public/private study of the downtown real estate market completed by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership at the request of Mayor Brown. BBRP resulted in several initiatives to increase downtown’s competitiveness for private investment. Considered criteria include:
• Connections with existing and planned infrastructure investments
• ‘Gateway’ status, visibility, and impact on downtown’s overall image
• Ability to leverage additional private investment
• Mechanisms in place for long-term upkeep and maintenance
• Readiness for implementation
These projects are the first allotment of BBRP funds to infrastructure projects, and will be followed in subsequent years by additional investment. Both Mayor Brown and National Grid made multi-year commitments to BBRP.
“This commitment of $1 million from my $11.25 million commitment to the Buffalo Building Reuse Project for these three major street improvement projects complements the $1.7 billion in economic development activity currently underway in Buffalo,” said Mayor Byron Brown.
“BBRP provides downtown Buffalo a clear and strategic roadmap to become more competitive for private investment,” said Andrew J. Rudnick, president & CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. “Infrastructure investments in Genesee, Chippewa, and Perry Streets are consistent with the strategic objectives of BBRP and are designed to further leverage and enhance and private sector investment in downtown Buffalo.”
“We are proud to be the first partner in the Buffalo Reuse Project and hope it will leverage further private sector investment,” said Dennis Elsenbeck, regional executive for National Grid.
ABOUT THE BUFFALO NIAGARA PARTNERSHIP
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is the area’s regional chamber of commerce and privately-funded economic development organization. Partnership members employ more than a quarter of a million people in the Buffalo Niagara region. By mobilizing members and strategic partners around common goals, the Partnership grows private investment and jobs in Buffalo Niagara through advocacy, business development, and convening.