East Side Commercial Building Stabilization Fund
The $5 million Commercial Stabilization Fund will help to protect the fabric, density, character, and community in East Buffalo – making sure that building assets in East Buffalo that may have current challenges are able to be maintained for prospective future development as mixed-use, retail, commercial, and housing uses, and can help to build up the strong commercial activity already present in areas in East Buffalo. This fund will provide for increased opportunities for reuse of the stock of historic buildings located in East Buffalo, ensuring that the region’s unique history, beauty, and sense of place are retained through its architecture, landscapes and urban design, and reversing the decades-long practice of demolishing historic building stock.
In June 2020, ESD Board of Directors awarded Preservation Buffalo Niagara up to $500,000 to administer a portion of the $5 million East Side Commercial Building Stabilization Fund on behalf of ESD. Projects undertaken using this funding will be awarded in increments of up to $50,000 per building, unless otherwise approved by ESD.
In December 2020, applications for the initial round of funding went live. An initial round of $500,000 was awarded in 2021, leaving a balance of $4.5 million for future rounds.
October 2022 - Applications are now open for a second round of funding. Applications are due December 3, 2022 and available here.
The restoration of buildings in East Buffalo, especially along its commercial corridors, is imperative to its resurgence. More than any other area of the city, East Buffalo has seen much if its fabric disrupted through “demolition by neglect.” In many instances, an owner may have been willing to work on measures to protect the building, but they lack the funds to stabilize the property or the ability to self-develop. The East Side Building Commercialization Stabilization Fund will help to stem the tide of deterioration, keep buildings standing and lead to restoration or rehabilitation in the future.
This additional round will provide opportunities for grants for up to $150,000 to cover 90% of costs to stabilize legacy commercial buildings that are at-risk for future emergency demolition, pending efforts for full restoration or rehabilitation. Property owners are required to contribute 10% of the total project costs.
Property owners interested in learning more about the program can attend a virtual information session on Wednesday, November 2 at 6 p.m. and should register here to attend.
The full program guidelines and applications can be found here.