Development Advisory Council

Industry Overview

Buffalo Niagara’s physical growth and development is a critical component towards a revitalized and economically sustainable future. Since 1970, our region’s urbanized land area has grown by 78% while we lost 16% of our population; this equation must change if we are to be an affordable place to live, work and do business.

Council Overview

The Development Advisory Council is a broad cross-section of leading development, construction, and real estate professionals in Western New York who aim to support policy, collaboration, and educational opportunities around the sustainable redevelopment of Buffalo Niagara.

Our mission includes:
  • Foster the development of diverse, vibrant, walkable communities that can retain and attract people to the region
  • Make efficient use of existing resources by directing development to areas already served by infrastructure, transit and public services
  • Support assistance for development projects to encourage private investment and create new programs to help address community needs
  • Establish a collaborative planning environment where design and development honors and preserves our region’s history while also providing the opportunities to establish a new legacy
Top Initiatives for 2020:
    • Oppose expansion of prevailing wage mandate to
      private projects
    • Reform the Scaffold Law by replacing absolute liability
      with a comparative negligence standard, allowing
      liability to be apportioned based on fault – the
      standard that exists in every state except New York
    • Maintain and strengthen Erie County Industrial
      Development Agency’s existing Adaptive Reuse policy
    • Oppose mandated inclusionary zoning which inflates
      the cost of developing new affordable units in a
      market with high construction costs and low rental
      rates. Instead, the public and private sectors must
      come together to urgently address the findings of the
      Buffalo Housing Opportunity Strategy report including
      the need for focused investment around community
      assets to build market confidence and create mixed
      income neighborhoods.
    • Establish an incentive program to stimulate infill
      development in downtown Buffalo to help build
      walkable, complete neighborhoods
    • Support expansion of NYS Historic Tax Credit program
      by increasing credit from 20% to 30% for projects
      under $5 million
  • Best Practices & Learning
    • Creating density through place-based infrastructure
    • Using infill development to achieve smart growth
    • Leveraging Opportunity Zone program
    • Supporting transit orientated development
  • Initiative Engagement
    • IDA policy review and action
    • Downtown Buffalo housing market
    • Buffalo Building Reuse Project
    • Opportunity Zone working group
    • Business Improvement District expansion working group
    • One Region Forward implementation council
  • Tour Series
    • Insider tours of unique sites important to area’s development
Council Leaders

Benjamin N. Obletz
Council Vice Chair
First Amherst Development

Council Members

  • AMD Environmental Consultants, Inc.
  • Arc Building Partners, LLC.
  • Arcadis
  • Architectural Resources, P.C.
  • Bank On Buffalo
  • Barclay Damon, LLP
  • Benchmark Environmental Engineering & Science PLLC
  • Benchmark Management Corporation
  • Benderson Development Company, LLC
  • Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC
  • C&S Companies
  • Cannon Design
  • Cannon Heyman & Weiss, LLP
  • Carmina Wood Morris, DPC
  • CBRE Buffalo
  • Chason Affinity
  • Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation
  • Clark Patterson Lee
  • Construction Exchange of Buffalo & WNY, Inc.
  • DiDonato Associates
  • Ecology & Environment, Inc.
  • Ellicott Development Co.
  • Encorus Group
  • First Amherst Development Group LLC
  • Five Star Bank
  • Foit-Albert Assoc., Architecture, Engineering & Surveying, PC
  • Frey Electric Construction Co., Inc.
  • Frontier Group of Companies
  • Gerald Kelly Capital Corp.
  • Glendale Development
  • Great Lakes Environmental & Safety Consulting, Inc.
  • Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council
  • Greenlight Networks
  • Greenman-Pedersen, Inc.
  • Hamister Group, LLC
  • Hanna Commercial Real Estate
  • Harris Beach PLLC
  • Hodgson Russ LLP
  • Hopkins Sorgi & Romanowski PLLC
  • Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.
  • Iskalo Development Corp.
  • Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect, P.C.
  • KeyBank
  • LaBella Associates, D.P.C.
  • LeChase Construction Services, LLC
  • Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP
  • M&T Bank
  • Modern Disposal Services, Inc.
  • Montante Companies LLC
  • National Grid
  • Nussbaumer & Clarke, Inc.
  • Millington Lockwood
  • OSEA (Occupational Safety and Environmental Associates)
  • P. Max Engineering
  • Parkitects, Inc.
  • Penman Development Partners, LLC
  • Priam Enterprises, LLC
  • Renewal Housing Corp.
  • Rodriguez Construction Group, Inc.
  • RP Oak Hill Building Company Inc.
  • S&T Bank
  • Savarino Companies, LLC
  • Schneider Development, LLC
  • Seneca Gaming Corporation
  • Signature Development
  • Sinatra & Company Real Estate
  • Sonwil Distribution Center, Inc.
  • T.Y. Lin International Group
  • The Community Preservation Corp.
  • The Krog Corp.
  • The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
  • Tompkins Bank of Castile
  • Turner Construction Co.
  • Uniland Development Company
  • Watts Architecture & Engineering, P.C.
  • Wells Fargo
  • Wendel
  • West Side & Black Rock-Riverside Neighborhood Housing Services
  • WSP USA Inc.

Previous & Ongoing Programs & Initiatives

The BNP focuses on economic growth and expansion of existing businesses with programs and initiatives aimed at increasing private sector jobs and investments in the Buffalo Niagara region.  Many of these initiatives are successful because of the direct input and support from members of our Development Advisory Council.  Here are some examples of past and ongoing initiatives that are a critical component in creating a revitalized and economically sustainable future.

  • Buffalo Building Reuse Project – a public/private effort seeking to make downtown Buffalo more competitive for private investment in the 21st century.
  • Adaptive ReUse – one of the most impactful and efficient economic development tools available to employers in Western New York.
  • Downtown Buffalo Housing Report – This report synthesizes the findings of several studies examining the downtown residential market and the impact of specific incentive programs.

Thank You To Our Sponsors

First Amherst Development Group logo
Harris Beach

Interested In Joining or Sponsoring?

Want to connect with some of the most engaged developers in the region?  Fill out the form below or contact Liz Benkovich at (716) 541-1759 for more information.

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