ESD Reminds Commercial and Mixed-Use Property Owners that Applications are Available for East Side Commercial Districts Program in Buffalo

August 16, 2022

Upcoming community information sessions on August 17 and 18

Second round includes an expanded building renovation program plus $4M in additional funding

Empire State Development (ESD) today reminded commercial and mixed-use property owners that applications are available for the second round of the East Side Commercial Districts Program in Buffalo.  Additional community information sessions have also been scheduled for August 17 and 18.  This program is creating an expanded building renovation program in four investment areas—Jefferson Avenue Commercial District, MLK Park Business District, Broadway Fillmore, and Kensington Bailey—to improve the business climate, combat commercial vacancies, and contribute to the corridors’ overall revitalization.  The program, which launched with $2 million in funding, will receive an additional $1 million for each of the four districts, bringing the program’s funding total to $6 million. 

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “With the launch of applications for round two of the East Side Commercial Districts Program, we will begin to see capital investments that will revitalize these commercial districts, developing and strengthening businesses and increasing mixed-use opportunities that will better serve Buffalo neighborhoods.”

Applications are due Friday, Sept. 16, and are available at the website for each Local Program Administrator (LPA) - Broadway Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services (BFNHS), Citizens’ Alliance, Inc. in partnership with the Black Chamber of Commerce and University District Community Development Association (UDCDA).

In addition, each LPA will be holding community information sessions.  See details below and links for flyers:

Kensington Bailey
Wednesday, August 17
5:30 to 7 p.m.
UDCDA’s Office - 995 Kensington Ave
Questions? Essence Sweat: [email protected]

MLK Park & Broadway Fillmore
Thursday, August 18
4 to 5:30 p.m.
Three Stories Café (first floor) - 1021 Broadway
Questions? Brandi Barrett: [email protected]

Wednesday, August 17
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Group Ministries - 1333 Jefferson Avenue
Questions? Sydney Brown: [email protected]

The program guidelines have been revised to allow for up to $100,000 in grant assistance available to commercial property owners with buildings in need of exterior and interior repairs. Empire State Development (ESD), the state’s chief economic development agency, is working with district LPAs to administer the program and allocate the additional $1 million from this round to each of the four target districts, inclusive of architecture/engineering support and a contingency fund. Working with an LPA ensures decisions are made at a local level with oversight from the administrator, a community nonprofit.  Building owners are required to contribute 10% of the total project costs.

Find the Map of Eligible Districts here.  Interested applicants should contact their LPAs for more information. An informational PowerPoint on Round 2 can be reviewed here.

In September 2020, more than $1 million was awarded as part of the first round of grants made through the East Side Commercial District Program. Twenty-one awardees received up to $50,000 in funding for exterior and/or interior repairs to commercial properties located within the four targeted commercial districts.  

About Empire State Development
Empire State Development is New York’s chief economic development agency. 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 the Governor’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, visit and

Pamm Lent | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309 | (716) 560-8815
Laura Magee | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239 | (716) 374-4246