Better Buffalo Fund Program

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The Better Buffalo Fund (BBF) aims to create vibrant, mixed-use, high-density neighborhoods. It is focused on supporting projects that encourage density and growth along transportation corridors and revitalize neighborhood commercial districts.

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The $40 million fund offers grants and loans through two initiatives – Transit Oriented Development and Buffalo Main Streets Initiative, administered by NYS Homes and Community Renewal. 

1. Transit Oriented Development (TOD): a grant and revolving loan fund for up to $2 million in gap financing for adaptive reuse or infill capital projects that:

  • Promote dense development (housing, employment, retail) in proximity to transit stops
  • Encourage the use of multi-modal transportation
  • Stimulate pedestrian activity through retail and neighborhood-oriented businesses and services, quality public spaces and accessible walkways

2. Buffalo Main Streets Initiative (BMSI): considers grant requests from $50,000 to $500,000 to help revitalize historic downtowns and mixed-use neighborhood commercial districts. Funds can be used for building renovations and public space enhancements in mixed-use target areas with coordination from the community non-profit.

While a single primary applicant is required, stakeholder organization partnerships are strongly encouraged. Applications demonstrating coordinated efforts among organizations and other Better Buffalo Fund initiatives will receive priority consideration.

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See a map of Better Buffalo Fund Target Investment Areas.

The Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is open to adaptive reuse or infill capital projects located in downtown Buffalo development areas within a half-mile walking distance of Buffalo transit stops on Bailey Avenue, Grant Street, Main Street, Niagara Street, Utica Street and Fillmore Avenue corridors.

TOD-eligible applicants:

  • For-profit businesses
  • Not-for-profit corporations
  • Business improvement districts
  • Local development corporations
  • Public benefit corporations (including industrial development agencies)
  • Economic development organizations
  • City of Buffalo and/or related entities

TOD funds may be used for:

  • Acquisition of land, buildings, machinery and/or equipment
  • Environmental remediation
  • New construction, renovation or leasehold improvements
  • Acquisition of furniture and fixtures
  • Soft costs of up to 15% of total project costs
  • Planning and feasibility studies related to a specific capital project

The Buffalo Main Streets Initiative (BMSI) considers grant requests from non-profit, community-based organizations and/or business associations. For Round 4, the geography for Buffalo Main Street Initiative applicants was extended to include Broadway (between Cedar and Mortimer streets) and Main Street (between Mohawk and Seneca streets) and four target areas were removed from the program—Bailey, Broadway/Fillmore, Fillmore/MLK and Jefferson Avenue—as funding is allocated to those areas through specific programming in the $65 million East Side Economic Development Corridor Fund.  For Round 5, the BMSI geography was extended to include a larger portion of Broadway (extending from Mortimer Street to Reed Street) and a portion of Abbott Road (between Robins Street and Cazenovia Street).

Ineligible BMSI applicants:

  • For-profit businesses
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How to Apply

Round 5 is now closed. Information on future rounds will be posted to this site. For additional information, email [email protected]