PBN Seeks Proposals for Assisting with the East Side Commercial Building Stabilization Fund

Preservation Buffalo Niagara is accepting written proposals from qualified firms to provide architectural and engineering services in connection with the East Side Commercial Building Stabilization Fund.

Services Required

As part of this work, we are in need of architectural services for the following tasks:

  • Assistance in preparing scope of work descriptions;
  • Assistance in project cost estimating (can be done by a sub-consultant if desired but must be
    included in the response);
  • Assistance in procuring and evaluating three quotes for each project;
  • Construction management and oversight during the contract period for each project.

Projects will be small scale in nature, with most projects not exceeding $150,000 in work, with
approximately ten – fifteen total projects. Projects will mainly consist of roof repairs or replacements,
siding and/or masonry repairs, and other types of structural work. Please note, full bid packages are not
required. In an effort to keep costs affordable, written scopes of work keyed to building plans and
photographs are the focus of this work with drawings prepared only when necessary to communicate
the exact nature of work. It is anticipated that this work will take place over a twelve month period
commencing in June 2022.

Submission Information

To submit a proposal, please include:

  • Firm/Principal Profile
  • Profile of staff to be assigned to the project
  • Fee structure, including hourly rates for each project component
  • Any timing constraints we should be aware of
  • M/WBE status

Proposals may be emailed in electronic format as one single PDF to jfisher@pbnsaves.org with the subject line Response to ESCBSF RFP.

Mailed or hand delivered proposals should be in a sealed envelope  clearly marked as Response to ESCBSF RFP and addressed as follows:

Jessie Fisher, Executive Director
Preservation Buffalo Niagara
617 Main Street, Suite 201 Buffalo, NY 14203

*Proposals should be submitted no later than 4 p.m., Monday, May 9th.

Responses and Questions may be directed to Jessie Fisher at jfisher@pbnsaves.org.

 

Click here to review the complete request for proposals.

Preservation Awards Nominations Due March 14th!

Know of a deserving preservation project, or individual who is helping to protect your community? Nominate them for a Preservation Award!

Preservation Buffalo Niagara is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Preservation Awards which celebrate the best in preservation projects and education throughout Western New York.

Past Preservation Award winners have included the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Robert T. Coles, School 77, the King Urban Life Center, Turner Brothers Lofts, SACRA Construction Skills Training Program, Hamlin Park Taxpayer and Community Association, and the Silos at Elk Street. Nominations for the 2022 Preservation Awards are due Monday, March 14th at 5:00pm.

Ready to apply? Download the application today.

 

 

 

 

For more information on the event or nomination process, please contact Tia Brown, Community Engagement Coordinator, at (716) 852-3300, or tbrown@pbnsaves.org.

AWARD CATEGORIES

The Louise Bethune Award for Outstanding Project, greater than 10,000 sq. feet

A project that embodies excellence through maintenance, stabilization, repair, planning, restoration, stewardship, adaptive re-use, or rehabilitation of our built environment.

The John E. Brent Award for Outstanding Project, less than 10,000 sq. feet

A project that embodies excellence through maintenance, stabilization, repair, planning, restoration, stewardship, adaptive re-use, or rehabilitation of our built environment including private homes.

The Robert T. Coles Award for Neighborhood Conservation

A project designed to protect or promote the preservation of a district or locality.

The Harold Ambellan Award for Preservation Craft

Superior skills or education in construction related activities applicable to the process of preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, or reconstruction.

The George K. Arthur Award for Preservation Leadership

Individual/organization effort in preservation through advocacy or planning activity.

The Robert J. Kresse Award for Education, Outreach, and Planning

A project or activity designed to empower community residents to participate in development decisions affecting our shared cultural heritage.

The Mary Talbert Award for Emerging Preservation Leader

This award is given to a student or early career professional who is showing promise in preservation in the next generation.

 

PBN Wins Excellence in Historic Preservation Award

Preservation Buffalo Niagara Receives a 2021 Excellence in Historic Preservation Award

This award from the Preservation League of NYS recognizes the best in the field of historic preservation.

Preservation Buffalo Niagara has been named one of this year’s Excellence in Historic Preservation award winners. Since 1984, the Preservation League’s statewide awards program has highlighted projects, organizations, publications, and individuals that exemplify best practices in historic preservation and recognize the people who are using historic preservation to build stronger neighborhoods, create local jobs, provide affordable housing, open our eyes to overlooked history, and save the places that are special to all of us.

Watch PBN’s award video here.

Read the full press release here.

Click here to learn more.

 

East Side Commercial Building Stabilization Fund

About the Fund

As part of the East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund (an initiative of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion), Empire State Development (ESD) established a $5 million East Side Commercial Building Stabilization Fund that will help to protect the fabric, density, character, and community on the East Side – making sure that building assets on the East Side that may have current challenges are able to be maintained for prospective future development as mixed-use, retail, and commercial uses, and can help to build up the strong commercial activity already present in areas on the East Side.

Empire State Development is partnering with Preservation Buffalo Niagara and City of Buffalo Department of Permits and Inspection Services to implement the Fund.

Click Here to Read the Press Release

Click Here to Read the Buffalo East Side Commercial Building Stabilization Guide

 

Fund Goals

The Fund will provide a dedicated funding source that will support near-term stabilization of at-risk historic buildings on the East Side with preference given to those buildings along commercial corridors especially in the target investment areas of the East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund. The Fund will support smaller, seal-up efforts such as roof patching, mothballing precautions, etc.—or rather, correcting obstacles that are preventing active use and business activity – to help prevent crisis-level failures in the future or, even worse, additional emergency demolitions of the existing urban fabric along commercial corridors.  It will ensure that buildings with code violations or structural deficiencies, but where there is not a currently viable project, are not torn down as a short sighted “solution”; rather, such buildings will be kept viable through the Fund, so that when there are market opportunities, the resources themselves will be intact and available for re-use.

Fund Eligibility

  • Applicants must demonstrate ownership of all buildings/real estate considered part of the proposed project or demonstrate expressed authorization of the property owner. Buildings must be privately owned.
  • The building must be a commercial or mixed-use property located on Buffalo’s East Side. For the purposes of the ESCEDF, the East Side is defined as 17 square miles, bounded by the University at Buffalo (UB) to the north; Main Street and Michigan Avenue (excluding the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and Central Business District) to the west; I-190 and the Buffalo River to the south; and the City line to the east. While any historic commercial or mixed-use building located on the East Side is eligible to apply, preference will be given to those buildings along commercial corridors especially in the target investment areas of the ESCEDF (See Attachment A: East Side Eligible Geography Map).
  • The building must be historic. For purposes of this Fund, “historic” shall mean any building that has existed on the site since prior to urban renewal, or for at least 50 years; or that contributes to the unique neighborhood character of the place in which it is located and contributes to the vision for revitalized business districts through providing an opportunity for business development at the site and wealth creation in the neighborhood. Such buildings may or may not be listed on or determined to be eligible for listing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places (S/NRHP).
  • Owners must maintain properties after stabilization. Property owners receiving assistance to stabilize their buildings under the Fund must file/record a “Property Maintenance Declaration” with the Erie County Clerk, stating that the subject property received assistance under the Fund, and that they will maintain the property in a manner consistent with the Fund objectives for a minimum of five years from date of completion of the stabilization project.  In the event of non-compliance, the amount of grant funds will be subject to repayment in accordance with a simple annual declining balance, based on the five-year enforcement period.

Fund Activities and Use of Funding

Through the program, property owners will be eligible for up to $50,000 per building, unless otherwise approved by ESD, for stabilization-related activities.  ESD will not require that property owners contribute matching funds in order to receive grant funding; however, funds will only be distributed upon completion of stabilization work conducted under this grant.

Funds must be used for stabilization of commercial or mixed-use buildings.  For purposes of this program, “stabilization” refers to undertaking preventative repairs that correct structural deficiencies or code violations, which if not corrected, could lead to loss of the building through collapse or demolition.

Fund must be used for capital purposes, including work pertaining to code violations.  Costs for stabilization projects completed on a property prior to the property being accepted into this program will not be eligible for reimbursement.

Funds may not be used for: stabilization of residential properties; buildings currently being used for religious purposes; improvements to structures owned by religious or private membership-based organizations (e.g., not including former buildings of this type owned by non-sectarian entities); and activities that have occurred prior to the start of the grant period cannot be funded through this program.

Properties listed for sale or with the intent to sell can be eligible for the program, however, grant funds will be subject to pro rata recapture if property is sold within five years of disbursement of funds unless the transaction is approved by ESD.

Owners with housing court violations are eligible to apply for program.  However, all back taxes must be paid prior to receiving funds, and funds cannot be used to pay taxes.

Grants will be provided for 6 months and no longer than 12 months. Extensions on awards will be considered on a case-by-case basis provided substantial progress has been made on the project in the initial 12-month period.

Review Criteria

Submitted project applications will be reviewed and prioritized based on:

  • Property location
  • National Register eligibility
  • Likelihood of future redevelopment
  • Urgency of stabilization measures
  • Impact on the neighborhood
  • Community support
  • Applicant’s residency
  • Applicant’s development experience
  • Preservation Easement: Building owners who are willing to enter into a 10-year preservation easement on the property with Preservation Buffalo Niagara will be given preference.

How to Apply

Full Program Guidelines and Map

Frequently Asked Questions

The first round of the East Side Commercial Building Stabilization Fund has concluded and Preservation Buffalo Niagara is currently not accepting applications. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up for our weekly newsletter for updates about when applications are open again.
Otherwise, if you have a question concerning your application for round one or would like more information about the East Side Commercial Building Stabilization Fund please email Constance Strother at cstrother@pbnsaves.org.

OR

Email: cstrother@pbnsaves.org

*The grant award is from the East Side Collaborative Fund which is administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. The pooled fund was created through a unique partnership of private and philanthropic organizations to complement capital funding that is being awarded by Empire State Development (ESD) as part of its $65 million East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund (ESCEDF), which is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion II initiative.

About East Side Avenues

East Side Avenues is a capacity building initiative developed to fund, plan and coordinate revitalization strategies and initiatives aimed at improving economic conditions in four main commercial corridors on Buffalo’s East Side. It is backed by a unique partnership of private and philanthropic organizations that created the pooled, $8 million East Side Collaborative Fund administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. The grants and supports are being provided to complement capital funding that is being awarded by Empire State Development (ESD) as part of its $65 million East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund (ESCEDF), which is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion II initiative.

East Side Avenues stemmed from UB Regional Institute’s (UBRI) partnership with ESD and The City of Buffalo to reach out to community members, to listen, analyze past investments and create a comprehensive plan focused on what key stakeholders said they’d like to see happen and what projects they believe are important for promoting economic activity.

East Side Avenues is being led by a Project Implementation Team (PIT) from UBRI that will work to build organizational capacity by ensuring appropriate supports such as infrastructure, staff and funding are in place; assisting with strategic planning, program design and problem solving; reporting on progress and ensuring responsible use of resources. UBRI is the research enterprise of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning. Learn more about East Side Avenues at www.eastsideavenues.org/.

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.