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Adaptive ReUse


More than 1,800 permanent new jobs have been produced and more than four 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.  We need to maintain and strengthen the ECIDA’s existing policy.

Scroll through each gallery to see the BEFORE, AFTER, & ECONOMIC IMPACT of each project.

448 Elmwood Ave.

500 Seneca

2780 Delaware Ave.

AC Lofts

The Glenny Building

J.R. Barrington Building


Turner Brothers Lofts

St. Paul’s Apartments

Adaptive ReUse Takeaways

  • This program is a big job producer.
    • 1,865 permanent jobs and 4,500 construction jobs were produced as a result of projects utilizing Adaptive Reuse.
  • It leverages enormous private sector investment.
    • $27 Million in abatements over 8 years has leveraged $638 Million in overall investment in these private sector projects.
  • The community’s contribution is nominal given the results.
    • Abatements from the Adaptive Reuse program account for just 4% of the overall investment from participating projects
  • The program effectively eliminates blight.
    • Fifty-three properties, accounting for more than 4 million square feet of previously derelict and vacant space have been redeveloped and put into use.
  • The program has supported Erie County’s tourism industry
    • 338 new hotel rooms have come on line within projects utilizing the Adaptive Reuse Program.
  • The program has contributed to a reduction in crime.
    • A study of the City of Buffalo shows that crime rates for incidents of all types have significantly reduced during the implementation of the program. The report cites studies that positively correlate the reduction of vacant buildings to the reduction of crime in neighborhood
  • The program has created a Live, Work & Play environment in Downtown Buffalo
    • More than 1,100 new residential units have been created through this program, largely converting vacant office and industrial spaces into residential uses, critical for diversifying the use and activity in our urban core.
  • We are revenue positive.
    • Even without the investment and job benefits, the simple impact to our local tax base is an immediate net positive. Projects stimulated through Adaptive Reuse have added $4.7 million in new local tax revenue, annually, when the abatements expire.  This is compared to the $3.375 Million in average abatements the program awarded on an annual basis since 2008.
  • Erie County continues to be a challenging development market.
    • The report shows statistics which illustrates Buffalo as having among the lowest rental rates of major cities in the nation while experiencing construction costs above the national average. It is critical to have stimulant programs such as Adaptive Reuse to get these projects to pencil out.
  •  Tax burden is still a significant challenge for projects
    • The report offers concern that, given low rental rates in Buffalo, when tax abatements expire, limited revenue on these properties may challenge their on-going feasibility.

LISTEN to Dottie Gallagher-Cohen discuss Adaptive Reuse on WBFO.