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Community Development Agreement Will Invest $10 Million in Buffalo’s Commercial Districts

BUFFALO, NY – July 19, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Mayor Byron W. Brown today was joined by Congressman Brian Higgins, and Jordan Levy and Larry Quinn of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation to announce a community development agreement that will bring investment and job creation to the city’s emerging waterfront and its traditional neighborhood commercial districts.

“This historic agreement will expand Buffalo’s waterfront into our neighborhood commercial districts, opening increased job opportunities and investment for future growth,” said Mayor Brown. “In this agreement Empire State Development Corporation will provide $7.5 million for the purchase of approximately 10 acres on Buffalo’s waterfront and I will allocate an additional $2.5 million that I will reinvest directly into our neighborhoods. This is the type of investment that our local businesses need to grow and stay strong, while preserving our traditional business districts.”

The community development agreement will create the Waterfront Neighborhood Economic Development and Preservation Fund, which will inject $10 million into the City’s commercial corridors.  $9 million will be distributed to the nine designated commercial corridors located throughout the City of Buffalo.  The nine identified commercial corridors are located in each of the city’s Council Districts and are: Delaware – Hertel, Ellicott – Allentown, Fillmore — Broadway Fillmore, Lovejoy – Lovejoy, Masten – Jefferson, Niagara – Grant-Ferry, North – Tonawanda-Ontario, South – Seneca, University – Bailey.

“This agreement not only opens up our waterfront to new development opportunities but also invests in the business districts across the City that have great potential for small business and job growth moving forward,” said Congressman Higgins.  “We are continuing the great momentum on our waterfront and creating the environment that turns this now dormant area into land ripe for economic activity.”  

“This agreement will ensure that the positive effects of Canal Side are felt throughout the City of Buffalo,” said ECHDC Chairman Jordan Levy. “As Canal Side becomes a reality and the potential of our Inner Harbor is unleashed, this investment will allow the city to make the infrastructure improvements that can lay the groundwork for future commercial development and job creation. ECHDC will also be working to ensure that city residents and local business have an opportunity to participate in Canal Side. In addition, ECHDC is proud to be incorporating green design principles into the development of Canal Side by meeting LEED standards. ”

An additional $1 million will be made available for investments in non-designated commercial corridors.  

The Waterfront Community Development Agreement also commits ECHDC to:

  1. Working with tenants on programs designed to increase employment opportunities for city residents and local businesses within the Canal Side Project.
  2. Supporting a M/WBE program for development on the waterfront and in the business districts.
  3. Incorporating green design into the development of Canal Side by meeting LEED standards for buildings, and 
  4. Ensuring that the property sold by the City of Buffalo will be taxable and subject to the local laws of the City of Buffalo, including the city’s Green Code.
  5. Developing the project that reflects the historic character of the Canal Side district.

The Waterfront Community Development Agreement will be filed for tomorrow’s Common Council meeting.