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 administer the Fund.

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.

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.

East Side Commercial Building Stabilization Fund applications will be available soon!