East Side Commercial Building Stabilization Fund
The $5 million Commercial Stabilization Fund will help to protect the fabric, density, character, and community on the East Side – making sure that building assets on the East Side 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 on the East Side. This fund will provide for increased opportunities for reuse of the stock of historic buildings located on Buffalo’s East Side, 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. The full program guidelines and applications can be found at https://preservationbuffaloniagara.org/east-side-commercial-building-stabilization-fund/. Applications for consideration during the first awarding of funds are due on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Additional funding will be made available in future rounds, for a total of $5 million.
The restoration of buildings on the East Side, especially along its commercial corridors, is imperative to its resurgence. More than any other area of the city, the East Side 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.