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Buffalo plans $5 million beautification of Franklin, Court streets

City officials are planning more than $5 million in streetscape improvements and beautification efforts on Franklin, Court and Chippewa streets.

Design work has started for the project, which will cover Franklin from Court to Chippewa Street, Court from Niagara Square to Main Street, and Chippewa from Main Street to Elmwood Avenue. Plans include new sidewalks, curbs, paving and lighting, as well as some "artistic and wayfinding elements to bring people from the hotels and civic district to the hotel district," said Brandye Merriweather, vice president of downtown development at the Buffalo Urban Development Corp.

The goal is to "stitch the districts together," she said, as part of the city's downtown infrastructure master plan. "We're looking for this project to be a transformational, signature project," she said, adding that the city is seeking public-private partnerships to maintain the streetscape and build on existing investments in the area.

The exact scope and other details of the project are still being determined, and officials from Watts Engineering & Architecture and the Department of Public Works will be meeting with property owners and the Chippewa Alliance. The project will be funded from the mayor's capital budget allocation, a grant from the Empire State Development Corp., and money from the Dormitory Authority of New York State.

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