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What the community wants to do with the $10 million for the Broadway-Fillmore Neighborhood

The $10 million could go to 14 different projects
Posted at 9:08 PM, Jul 25, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. — New York State announced it would give $10 million from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) to revitalize the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood in 2021. The community and its partners have recommended 14 different projects around the area that it would like to see the $10 million go towards.

DRI was launched in 2016 to improve urban areas across New York State. The Regional Economic Development Councils select communities to invest in. Each community then prepares an investment plan for the funds. The City of Buffalo, New York State, a consultant team, a local planning committee, and the community settled on 14 different projects to ask the state to fund with that $10 million. The team narrowed down a list of 21 projects to 14.

The 14 different projects include:

  • Bring an organic farm to the neighborhood
    • Place 11 container farms to grow food; Rehabilitate building for office space, produce packaging and cold storage; Install solar panels and battery shortage systems
    • Total Cost: $1,374,415
    • DRI Recommendation: $664,000
    • Sponsor: 205 Lombard, LLC
    • Time Frame: Two months
  • Great Lawn at the Central Terminal
    • Transform the lawn to green space for events; Create park-like amenity for community to use when the lawn is not hosting events; Event programming ranges from concerts, festivals and other community events
    • Total Cost: $3,594,316
    • DRI Recommendation: $1,500,000
    • Sponsor: Central Terminal Restoration Corporation
    • Time Frame: Two years
  • Develop Playter Gardens at the Market: Affordable Housing
    • Transform vacant parcels into 62 affordable housing units; Includes streetscape improvements and low-maintenance landscaping; Provide access to education, training and other resources for the community on first floor of primary garden-style building
    • Location: 39 city-owned vacant parcels along Playter Street
    • Total Cost: $20,455,451
    • DRI Recommendation: $550,000
    • Sponsor: Cedarland Development Group and CSD Housing, LLC
    • Time Frame: Two years
  • Expand Al Cohen's Bakery Business
    • Expand Al Cohen's bakery; Renovate the vacant structure and restore the historic structure; Create 5 permanent jobs
    • Location: 185 Sweet Avenue
    • Total Cost: $905,000
    • DRI Recommendation: $362,000
    • Sponsor: Al Cohen's Bakery
    • Time Frame: 16 months
  • Improve Building for After-school and Performance Space
    • Building updates; Allows licensing and certification from the NYS Office of Children and Family Services to relocate and operate an after-school program in the building; Make auditorium for hosting art and cultural events
    • Location: 1081 Broadway Street
    • Total Cost: $410,000
    • DRI Recommendation: $290,000
    • Sponsor: Matt Urban Center
    • Time Frame: One year
  • Infrastructure, Streetscape, Placemaking
    • Investment in wayfinding and signage, new street lighting, tree planting, new public amenities including public outdoor seating and flower planters
    • Location: Broadway Street, Fillmore Avenue, Paderewski Drive, and residential streets within the DRI boundary
    • Total Cost: $4,012,652
    • Sponsor: City of Buffalo
    • DRI Recommendation: $2,683,000
    • Time Frame: Construction begins in Spring 2024
  • Broadway Market - Phase 1 Renovations
    • Interior and exterior improvements to the structure; Reorganize vendor locations; Improve accessibility and circulation throughout the property; Improve storage and loading/unloading conditions
    • Location: 999 Broadway
    • Total Cost: $9,407,000
    • DRI Recommendation: $3,000,000
    • Sponsor: City of Buffalo
    • Time Frame: Construction anticipated Fall 2023
  • ReBuilding Paderewski - the first step
    • Build two residential units and a small commercial unit on two currently vacant plots
    • Location: 273 and 275 Paderewski Street
    • Total Cost: $495,000
    • DRI Recommendation: $470,000
    • Sponsor: Broadway Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc.
    • Time Frame: Development of timeline will immediately follow receipt of DRI award
  • Renovate Building to Provide Childcare and Training
    • Convert the first two floors into a childcare facility that would serve up to 90 children in an area considered a childcare desert; Offer training opportunities for unemployed and under-employed people, including immigrants and refugees, seeking careers in childcare
    • Location: 239 Lombard, Lederman's Building
    • Total Cost: $2,807,000
    • DRI Recommendation: $2,000,000
    • Sponsor: Mosaic 659 Foundation
    • Time Frame: 8 months
  • Renovate Building to Affordable Daycare Center
    • Enable the build-out of an affordable childcare facility; Full renovation and build of more than 10,000 square feet of indoor space into six classrooms, a commercial kitchen, two gross motor play spaces, nutritional storage, office storage and bathrooms; 4,200 square feet outdoor playground
    • Location: 950 Broadway
    • Total Cost: $1,067875
    • DRI Recommendation: $427,150
    • Sponsor: 950 Broadway LLC & Community Action Organization of WNY, Inc.
    • Time Frame: 1 year
  • Renovate Schreiber Brewery for Adaptive Reuse
    • Renovate historic property into a multi-use flexible commercial space that includes a brewing production space, a museum, a brewing wholesale manufacturing business, and office, commercial and residential uses
    • Location: 662 Fillmore Avenue
    • Total Cost: $6,559,268
    • DRI Recommendation: $500,000
    • Sponsor: 662 Fillmore, LLC
    • Time Frame: 18 months
  • Repair and Renovate Sears Street Community Center
    • Community center in need of roofing replacement, masonry repairs, carpentry and window repairs, along with renovations to make facility ADA complaint
    • Location: 165 Sears Street
    • Total Cost: $745,000
    • DRI Recommendation: $530,000
    • Sponsor: Friends of Corpus Christi, Inc.
    • Time Frame: 9-10 months
  • Revitalization of Sears Paderewski Park
    • Re-build park to create a multi-purpose gathering space with tree plantings, new hardscape, and amenities, new pavilion
    • Location: 358 Paderewski Drive
    • Total Cost: $1,299,000
    • DRI Recommendation: $630,000
    • Sponsor: Open Space Institute Land Trust/New City parks
    • Time Frame: Construction ready to break ground early 2023, completion slated early 2024
  • Torn Space Theater Capital Project for Cultural Activities
    • New construction to create campus setting geared for community engagement; introduce a one-story, free-standing structure that contains an enclosed vestibule that will provide entry to the tree existing building structures
    • Location: 608 and 612 Fillmore Avenue
    • Total Cost: $2,000,000
    • DRI Recommendation: $1,000,000
    • Sponsor: Tom Space Theater
    • Time Frame: Construction can begin as soon as funding is secured

The total DRI request is for $20,900,000. Members of the local planning committee said they are over-asking because the state will narrow the list of projects down further.

Next, these projects will be finalized and submitted to the Strategic Investment Plan. The State will review the Strategic Investment Plan and will make final funding decisions. Those final decisions are expected to be announced by 2022.