A project to turn the city's Northland Corridor into a light-industrial and commercial hub took a step forward this week as a city agency awarded a design contract and agreed to take on nine more city-owned properties for the project.
The Buffalo Urban Development Corp., the city agency that is managing the redevelopment of the Northland Corridor project, approved a $1.12 million task order with Watts Architecture & Engineering on Tuesday to design the renovation of 683 Northland Ave. and construction of the Western New York Workforce Training Center.
The design work is part of the larger $42 million overall Buffalo Billion-funded project on the East Side, which is intended to create a light-industrial and commercial hub in a long-impoverished and neglected area of the city, while bringing new investments and jobs to the neighborhood. Watts will also work with Buffalo-based 3480 Group to test structural conditions in the existing building at 683 Northland.
BUDC on Tuesday also agreed to negotiate a funding agreement with the city for $4 million in community development block grant funds for the Northland project.
The agency will also take on another nine city-owned properties with 1.7 acres of land adjacent to the current Northland sites, while spending $53,000 to remediate them in preparation for redevelopment.
Additionally, the BUDC board agreed to hire architect Kathleen Kinan for up to $30,000 to provide construction management services for the renovation of 612 Northland, one of the few buildings that will remain intact at the larger 537 East Delavan Ave. site. The renovation is expected to cost $372,000 to $586,000, to be funded by Restore New York grant money and the Buffalo Brownfields Redevelopment Fund.
"This building is an excellent early opportunity for a small business and entrepreneurial center in the Northland Corridor," BUDC Executive Vice President David Stebbins wrote in a memo to the board.
The BUDC board also approved a request for $337,796 in reimbursements from the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund for 2016 expenses related to work at Northland and the Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park in South Buffalo.
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