City Announces Waterfront/Neighborhood Development Agreement

July 19, 2010 Updated Jul 19, 2010 at 4:03 PM EDT

By WKBW Internet

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City Announces Waterfront/Neighborhood Development Agreement

July 19, 2010 Updated Jul 19, 2010 at 4:03 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The City of Buffalo has reached an agreement with the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) to invest in community development in Buffalo's waterfront and neighborhood commercial districts.

In the agreement, ECHDC will provide $7.5 million for the purchase of approximately 10 acres of land on Buffalo's waterfront, with the city to allocate an additional $2.5 million to invest directly into the neighborhoods.

The 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.

"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.

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

The agreement also commits ECHDC to:

- Working to create and increase employment opportunities for city residents and local businesses within the Canal Side Project.

- Incorporating green design into the development of Canal Side by meeting LEED standards for buildings.

- Supporting a M/WBE program for development on the waterfront and in the business districts.

- 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.

- Developing the project that reflects the historic character of the Canal Side districts.

The agreement must still be approved by the Buffalo Common Council, which could happen Tuesday when the agreement is filed with the council.