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Plenty of demand for NY Main Street grant money

How do you divide $500,000 in cash when you have 1.2 million in requests? Buffalo Place is going to find out.

The nonprofit business improvement district has received 28 applications for grants from the latest round of New York Main Street funds that it received from the state. But the total dollar amount requested is nearly 2.5 times what it has available to dole out.

"There's a lot of review that will be done by the advisory committee," said architect Steve Carmina, partner of Carmina Wood Morris and a member of the Buffalo Place Board of Trustees.

This is the fourth round of funding through the state Housing and Community Renewal's Housing Trust Fund program, designed to leverage private investment to make renovations and facade improvements on properties in a community's central business district. Buffalo Place has previously given out $1 million for 23 projects, with property owners spending another $7 million on top of that, officials said.

"We're getting a lot more investment than we would have," Carmina said.

The largest single award last year was $50,000 for the $3 million Alexandre Apartments renovation. "Most awards are less than that, so we're getting a lot of bang for our bucks," he added.

The current cycle covers projects along Main Street between Seneca and Goodell streets to preserve historic facades, construct new storefronts or develop upstairs residential spaces.

Decisions are expected within 30 days of last week's deadline, or mid-April. Projects would likely start in May, and applicants have until the end of 2020 – through two construction seasons – to complete the work.

Buffalo Place wins $500,000 grant for Main Street building improvements

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