Plans to assist in the development of two key Niagara Falls business districts have taken major steps forward.
The USA Niagara Development Corp. directors agreed to incentive packages that will help with the restoration of a key Third Street property and for the Buffalo Avenue business district.
USA Niagara's directors agreed to a $55,000 grant to Erdco Development LLC, which is planning to restore a circa 1920s-era, 13,000-square-foot building at 451 Third St. Erdco is proposing a mixed-use development, anchored by eight residential units and four, first-floor commercial units. Two commercial tenants, including a restaurant, may soon be moving into the building.
Erdco is investing $817,000 in the project.
Besides the USA Niagara grant, the City of Niagara Falls has agreed to a $150,000 grant and Erdco has applied for a $100,000 grant through a separate USA Niagara program as well as a $50,000 loan through Niagara Falls' NFC Development Corp.
"Small business owners and local entrepreneurs are the backbone to any community and that is certainly the case for Niagara Falls," said Dennis Mullen, USA Niagara and Empire State Development Corp. chairman. "Because this city is on a worldwide stage, making sure our city's neighborhoods and local businesses thrive becomes that much more critical."
Mullen said that same mindset was behind USA Niagara's support of the Buffalo Avenue Heritage District Microgrant Program initiative. The program offers incentives for any project that entails preserving, stabilizing and upgrading the district's existing buildings.
Grants of up to $10,000 are available.