Smart Growth Community Fund

Dunkirk, North Tonawanda, Gowanda and Lackawanna

About the Smart Growth Community Fund

The $20 million Smart Growth Community Fund Buffalo Billion II initiative has thus far awarded four Western New York communities up to $2.5 million each in funding – the City of Dunkirk, City of North Tonawanda, City of Lackawanna and Village of Gowanda.  The communities are focusing on projects that utilize existing infrastructure to support placemaking, walkable communities and sustainable development.

Funding awards were recommended and approved by the WNYREDC. Projects selected within each community are shovel-ready and can be completed within 1-2 years.  

About the 2017 Recipients

City of Dunkirk: Up to $2.5 million

Smart Growth Projects include:

  • Improvements to the pier and waterfront trails.
  • Funding for the Central Connections Community Connector to create opportunities for rebranding and improving signage between downtown Dunkirk, SUNY Fredonia, and the Village of Fredonia.

City of North Tonawanda: Up to $2.5 million

Smart Growth Projects include:

  • Funding for improvements at Gateway Harbor.
  • Streetscape and pedestrian enhancements.
  • Pocket park improvements.
  • Signage and visual improvements at downtown entry points.
  • Pedestrian improvements at four crossings located on River Road.
  • Green infrastructure improvements to Main Street.
  • Funding to support the renovation of the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier.

City of Lackawanna: Up to $2.5 million

Smart Growth Projects include:

  • Central Business District intersection, streetscape and pedestrian enhancements.
  • Design and construction of enhancements to the park adjacent to Memorial Field and the public library.
  • Support for a development on a vacant parcel of land across from Memorial Field.

Village of Gowanda: Up to $2.5 million

Smart Growth Projects include:

  • Improve waterfront access to increase recreation and tourism at Zoar Valley Gateway Park, Creekside Park and Aldrich Street.
  • Funding to support the completion of the internal restoration of the Hollywood Theater.


*For more information on the project view the press release here

Embracing Growth and Downtown Redevelopment

The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council is embracing growth and downtown redevelopment as core economic goals in its Strategy for Prosperity. Businesses are increasingly locating in or near vibrant, walkable downtowns built on the principles of smart growth – places where the millennial workforce chooses to live, work, and raise a family. Investments in existing downtowns also have been found to reduce local infrastructure and municipal service costs, thus helping to ease fiscal difficulties.