Renovation work is underway at eight smaller downtown building projects funded by the New York Main Street grant program, with two new retail businesses now open while other efforts are still in planning or bidding stages.
The state program provides funds to local governments and nonprofits to support private-sector facade renovations, building upgrades and streetscape improvements along the main commercial corridors in municipalities. The goal is to revitalize historic downtowns, mixed-use commercial districts and village centers. The nonprofit Buffalo Place business improvement district is administering the program and its funds in Buffalo, and doled out $262,500 to nine projects in the latest round.
At 515-517 Main St., owner Roger Trettel has changed his plans after buying another building. That means the work he intended to complete won't be done within the time frames allowed under the current round of financing, said Steve Carmina, an architect and member of the Buffalo Place board of directors
Instead, that money has been reallocated to pay for exterior work on a wall facing a parking lot at 523 Main St., exterior work at 487 Main, and additional buildout of commercial space at the former Baker Shoes Store building at 456 Main. One tenant is ready to move in at 523 Main, pending a certificate of occupancy from the city, while Ellicott Development Co. and McGuire Development Co., which are leading the 456 Main renovation, are working with the State Historic Preservation Office on the final design plans.
Meanwhile, the new Starbucks Coffee shop - another one of the projects - has opened at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, and Hatchets and Hops opened in the VIP Tix building at 515 Main. Other projects are preparing to start construction, Carmina said.