East Side Commercial Districts Program

1385Fillmore

Rendering of a project at 1385 Fillmore, which received funds through Round 1 of the program.

About East Side Commercial Districts Program

Up to $100,000 in grant assistance is available to commercial property owners in four commercial districts with buildings in need of exterior and interior repairs. ESD is working with district Local Program Administrators (LPAs) to administer the program and allocate $1.5 million to each of the four target districts. Working with a LPA ensures decisions are made at a local level with oversight from the administrator, a community non-profit.  Building owners are required to contribute 10% of the total project costs. 

Jefferson Avenue Commercial District

  • Boundaries: Jefferson Avenue addresses between East Ferry Street and BFNC Drive, as well as establishments on corner lots in this targeted area.
  • Local Program Administrator: Citizens Alliance, Inc. in partnership with the Western New York Black Chamber of Commerce (CAI).

MLK Park Commercial District

  • Boundaries: Fillmore Avenue addresses between East Ferry Street and North Parade Avenue, as well as establishments on corner lots in this targeted area.
  • Local Program Administrator: Broadway Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services (BFNHS).

Broadway-Fillmore Commercial District

  • Boundaries: Fillmore Avenue addresses between Sycamore Street and Paderewski Drive, and buildings with a Broadway address between Memorial Drive and Reed Street, as well as establishments on corner lots in this targeted area.
  • Local Program Administrator: Broadway Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services (BFNHS).

MLK Park Commercial District

  • Boundaries: Bailey Avenue addresses between Winspear Avenue and Route 33, as well as establishments on corner lots in this targeted area.
  • Local Program Administrator: University District Community Development Association (UDCDA).
Project Status

In September 2020, more than $1 million was awarded as part of the first round of grants being made through the East Side Commercial District Program. Twenty-two awardees will each receive up to $50,000 in funding for exterior and/or interior repairs to commercial properties located within four targeted commercial districts on Buffalo's East Side.  Awardees are listed here.  See renderings of several properties here.

In July 2022, it was announced that the program, which launched with $2 million in funding, will receive an additional $1 million for each of the four districts, bringing the program’s funding to $6 million. Program rules have been modified in Round 2, ultimately increasing the maximum grant amount to property owners to $100,000 and including additional services such as architectural and engineering and construction management services at no additional cost to the property owner. 

**NEW: July 2022 - Second round of applications is open and community information sessions will be held.  See right side for additional information.

Transforming the Corridors’ Business Districts

This $2 million program is creating an expanded building renovation program in four investment areas—Jefferson Avenue Commercial District, MLK Park Business District, Broadway Fillmore, and Kensington Bailey—to improve the business climate, combat commercial vacancies, and contribute to the corridor’s overall revitalization.