Fund will Stabilize At-Risk Buildings for Commercial Use and Redevelopment
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that applications are now open for a second round of the $5 million East Side Commercial Building Stabilization Fund in Buffalo. The fund is helping to protect the community fabric of East Buffalo, making sure that challenged buildings are maintained for prospective future uses, reversing a decades-long practice of incremental demolition of historic building stock. Applications for the program, which is administered by Preservation Buffalo Niagara, are due December 3, 2022 and available here.
"With this Fund, we are taking steps to address decades of neglect in East Buffalo and standing by our commitment to doing right by this community," Governor Hochul said. "The East Side Commercial Building Stabilization Fund will allow for much-needed renovations at historic buildings to restore the neighborhood and bring bustling commercial activity back to this community. I encourage businesses to apply and be a part of the revitalization of East Buffalo."
This additional round will provide opportunities for grants up to $150,000 to cover 90 percent of costs to stabilize legacy commercial buildings that are at risk for future emergency demolition, pending efforts for full restoration or rehabilitation. Property owners are required to contribute 10 percent of the total project costs. This will preserve East Buffalo's unique history, character, and sense of place in its architecture and urban design, and more so, preserve future opportunities for small business development in such buildings, which is substantially more feasible in existing structures compared to new building construction.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Hope Knight said, "The East Side Commercial Building Stabilization Fund helps ensure the physical fabric of East Buffalo is as strong as the community spirit of its residents. Providing adequate support and maintenance of neighborhood structures can lead to the revitalization of commercial districts, spur development and strengthen the local economy."
Preservation Buffalo Niagara Executive Director Jessie Fisher said, "We know that investing in our legacy commercial buildings is part of any successful neighborhood rehabilitation strategy. We are so grateful for New York State in making this investment in the East Side of Buffalo."