Empire State Development Announces East Side Commercial District Program Information Sessions

October 28, 2019

$500,000 in funding for Buffalo commercial property owners in targeted East Side commercial corridors

See map of eligible districts here

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced information sessions for the $2 million East Side Commercial District Program, an initiative part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund.  The Program will provide up to $50,000 in grant assistance to commercial property owners in four commercial districts with buildings in need of exterior and interior repairs.  Interested, eligible property owners should attend upcoming meetings in their districts to learn more about program requirements, the application process, the assistance available through the program, and to meet their districts’ Local Program Administrators (LPA).  Information sessions will be held in each district throughout November, with final selection of projects expected in early 2020.

“This funding will help to revive traditional main streets and commercial corridors in underserved neighborhoods through the preservation of historic buildings, funding of capital improvements and expansion of commercial opportunities in four East Side commercial corridors,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler.  

The Program will expand neighborhood-serving businesses, including retail, restaurants, and other services; and increase mixed-use opportunities along strong commercial districts along Jefferson, Fillmore, and Bailey Avenues.  ESD will work with the LPAs to administer the program and allocate $500,000 to each of the four target districts. Building owners are required to contribute 15% of the total project costs, and the 85% balance of costs—up to $50,000—will be covered by the grant.  LPAs were selected for the program based on their experience administering similar programs such as the NY Main Street Initiative and Buffalo Main Street Initiative.

Upcoming information meetings are being held in the following districts at the following times. Interested attendees should contact the sponsor organizations for more information and to RSVP.

▪     Broadway Fillmore Commercial District - Thursday, Nov. 7. 6 p.m.

Coverage area: Buildings with a Fillmore Avenue address between Sycamore Street and Paderewski Drive, as well as buildings on corner lots. Buildings with a Broadway address between Memorial Drive and Reed Street, as well as buildings on corner lots.

Meeting Location: Jericho Road Community Health Center, 1021 Broadway, Buffalo, N.Y. 14214

LPA: Broadway Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services (BFNHS)

LPA Program Contact/RSVP: Brianna Byandagara, [email protected], 716-852-3130.

▪     MLK Park Commercial District - Thursday, Nov. 21, 6 p.m.

Coverage area: Properties and corner lots on Fillmore Avenue between East Ferry Street and North Parade Avenue.

Meeting Location: Merriweather Library, 1324 Jefferson Ave., Buffalo, N.Y. 14208

LPA: Broadway Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services (BFNHS)

LPA Contact/RSVP: Brianna Byandagara, [email protected], 716-852-3130.

▪     Kensington Bailey Commercial District - Monday, Nov. 25, 8-9 a.m. and 6-7 p.m.

Coverage area: Buildings with a Bailey Avenue address between LaSalle Avenue and Route 33, as well as buildings on corner lots.

Meeting Location: University District Community Development Association Office at 995 Kensington Ave., Buffalo N.Y. 14215

LPA: University District Community Development Association (UDCDA)

LPA Contact/RSVP: Essence Sweat, [email protected], 716-832-1010, ext. 202.

*Note: UDCDA will be offering two meetings on Nov.25 with the same content at different times.

▪     Jefferson Avenue Commercial District – Tuesday, November 26, 6:30 p.m.

Coverage area: Buildings with a Jefferson Avenue address between East Ferry Street and Dodge Street, as well as establishments on corner lots.

Meeting Location: Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center, 334 E. Utica St., Buffalo, N.Y. 14208

LPA: Citizens’ Alliance, Inc. in partnership with the Black Chamber of Commerce of WNY

LPA Contact/RSVP: Sydney Brown, [email protected], 716-597-0262.

Managed by ESD, the Commercial Districts Program is an initiative in Governor Cuomo’s previously announced $50 million East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund, part of the Buffalo Billion II initiative.  It is intended to help revive traditional main streets and commercial corridors through the preservation of historic buildings, funding of capital improvements in neighborhood assets, and expansion of commercial opportunities in these neighborhoods.

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand.  For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

Pamm Lent | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309
Laura Magee| [email protected] | (716) 846-8239