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Buffalo's Black Billion nonprofit announces more than $200,000 towards Fruit Belt neighborhood infrastructure

The nonprofit purchased a plot of land between Locust St. and Mulberry St. - with plans on building a fresh market, grocery store, community garden and apartment complex.
Posted at 5:37 PM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 10:54:15-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW)  — The first commitment of nonprofit Buffalo's Black Billion two billion dollar promise to the people of the East Side of Buffalo has come true.

"Today, we mark a win. But that does not mean our quest for justice is over. This is just the beginning," said Rev. Tim Brown, the President of the Baptist Minister's Conference of Buffalo.

Buffalo's Black Billion - a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing the Fruit Belt community and Buffalo's East Side - announced this afternoon it has successfully struck a deal with the City of Buffalo.

"It is so important for us - for our children - to create a space where one can find healthy, fresh groceries. I've seen so many children lose out because they didn't have that access," said Dr. Tonja Williams, the Interim Superintendent of the Buffalo Public School System.

For more than $200,000, the group has purchased a plot of land between Locust St. and Mulberry St. along High St. in the neighborhood.

"When we break ground on this project - you are going to find some amazing things, things I'm so excited about," said Mark Dean, or Principal Dean Architects.

The detailed plans for the land are as follows:

  1. An outdoor and indoor space for a farmers market.
  2. Community gardens.
  3. An indoor, retail grocery store.
  4. Brand new, low-income apartments.

Buffalo's Black Billion spokeswoman Christina Abt told 7 News there are no concrete plans on a groundbreaking date as of yet, due to some last minute details to be hashed out with the City of Buffalo.

However, the group plans on creating satellite pop-up food giveaways and markets in the meantime to lighten the load.

We will continue to update this story with more information as Buffalo's Black Billion provides more details.