Broadway Fillmore Historic District Eligible for Preservation Incentives

Buffalo, N.Y., April 09, 2020: The Michigan Sycamore Historic District was originally established in May 2017 with the landmarking of 68 & 72 Sycamore Street and in July 2019, the district was expanded to include 82 Sycamore and 608 Michigan Street. The creation of this historic district is a strong statement that we as a community see these buildings as an important part of our historic built environment and contribute to the rich historical and cultural significance of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor as a whole.   

Despite this designation, the properties of this local historic district are still endangered with a demolition request on the agenda for the September 5, 2019 Buffalo Preservation Board meeting. Preservation Buffalo Niagara, along with our community based partners, ardently oppose any further loss of historic built environment of the corridor, a designated NYS Heritage Area.

Use this form to let Council President Pridgen and the Buffalo Preservation Board know that you support the Michigan Sycamore Historic District and oppose any demolitions.

Buffalo, N.Y., November 19, 2018:  Preservation Buffalo Niagara (PBN), Historic East Side Neighborhood Initiative (HESNI), and Buffalo Common Councilmember David Franczyk are thrilled to announce that the National Park Service has certified the Broadway-Fillmore Historic District, making homeowners and commercial property owners now eligible to access State and Federal tax credits. This certification is the result of three years of planning and community meetings to secure designation of the historic district, for the 244 properties along the Broadway Fillmore corridor.

State and Federal historic tax credits have led to levels of investment over the last decade in Buffalo’s built environment not seen since before the population decline beginning in the 1960s. And since the State added its tax credit program to the Federal program, commercial property owners in New York State have led the nation in their use of the historic tax credit, generating 18,000 jobs and over a billion dollars in new investment in our historic structures, much of which has occurred in Buffalo.  New York State also has a tax credit program for homeowners living in income-eligible census tracts that has been utilized by nearly 600 homeowners so far – the most of any part of the State!

Jim Serafin, President of HESNI commented: “When we selected this as our top priority project in 2015, we had no idea that it would lead to such spectacular results. With the expertise of PBN and the Historic Resources Survey prepared by Preservation Studios we were ready to approach New York State. I can’t wait to see what the next five years will look like as we bring back the neighborhood, I grew up in.”

Jessie Fisher, Executive Director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, commented: “We know that preservation is an important tool in stabilizing communities and giving neighborhoods control over their futures.  PBN has been proud to help create the first neighborhood-scale historic district in Buffalo in nearly twenty years and will continue to work closely with the neighborhood to make sure implementation goes smoothly and that everyone understands the opportunities and responsibilities of owning property in this historic district.”

Fillmore District Council Member David Franczyk added:  “Broadway Fillmore residents have long been proud of their neighborhood, and now we have an important new tool to help this community make the critical investments needed to create a strong future.”

“The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has been thrilled to collaborate with Preservation Buffalo Niagara, the city of Buffalo’s Office of Strategic Planning, and the residents of this historic neighborhood on this great achievement,” said Daniel Mackay, Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation.  “The Historic Tax Credit programs have developed into one of the state’s signature economic development and neighborhood stabilization programs.  We are proud to offer incentives that are making an impact in Western New York and look forward to working with the property owners in the Broadway Fillmore historic district.”

Groups such as Broadway-Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services (BFNHS) and Fillmore Forward also championed the creation of this district and will be helpful in ensuring that all homeowners are able to benefit from these newly available incentives.

Steve Karnath, Executive Director of Broadway-Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services said: “We have supported this effort because we believe it will support our work to help homeowners build generational wealth through homeownership and will give us another tool for allowing people to make important updates to their homes.  We will continue to work with PBN to bring these benefits to everyone.”

PBN and our community partners will be hosting a community meeting to celebrate the Broadway-Fillmore Historic District and to explain how to take advantage of the tax credits and other preservation incentives on Saturday, January 12, 2019. All community members are invited to attend and further details about the event will be announced soon.

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