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Localities get $27.2 Million in Grants to Revitalize Areas

Buffalo News

9/9/2009

The state has awarded $27.2 million in grants to revitalize Western New York urban areas that would attract new investment.

Buffalo will receive more than half of the total to continue demolition and building rehabilitation.

Some of the $14.3 million going to Buffalo will help to transform a crumbling Livery on Jersey Street into new housing, city officials said Thursday.

Niagara Falls will receive $5 million to convert the historic, but blighted, former South Junior High School into Niagara City lofts - 52 market-rate spaces where people can live and work.

Gov. David A. Paterson announced the grants Thursday in the third round of the state's Restore NY program, administered by the Empire State Development Corp.

Six other local municipalities also will receive grants:

• $2.5 million for the City of Dunkirk for Progress Park, a brownfield redevelopment that will expand manufacturing and commercial facilities.

• $1 million for Grand Island to rehabilitate the vacant Dunlop building.

• $1 million for Jamestown for the Jamestown connector stabilization project, which includes demolishing a number of blighted and vacant manufacturing buildings.

• $663,000 for the City of Tonawanda for the final phase of demolition and cleanup of the abandoned Spaulding Fibre Industrial Complex.

• $660,000 for Gowanda to restore the Hollywood Theater.

• $800,000 for Lackawanna for a comprehensive revitalization project.

Buffalo applied for two grants that totaled $20 million, said karen Stanley Fleming, the city's Director of Urban Affairs.

It received more than two-thirds of its requested aid.

Some of Buffalo's grants will help with the city's demolition blitz, focusing on properties that pose safety hazards or are located near schools or in areas that stand the best chance of attracting new development.

Rehabilitation efforts that will receive assistance include the 1880s-era White Bros. Livery & Boarding Stable on Jersey Street, said Brian Reilly, Buffalo's Economic Development commissioner.

A developer is turning the structure into condominiums.

Other Buffalo projects that will benefit from the Restore NY grants include several planned housing developments on the east side and the rehabilitation of the historic Curtiss building on the northwest corner of Franklin and Huron streets.



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